UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” author and host Samin Nosrat on Sept. 13

This performance will be a virtual culinary conversation and live Q-and-A discussion with Nosrat and the Stitts, owners and operators of Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega, and Chez Fon-Fon.

SFAH1Join the conversation between “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” author and host Samin Nosrat and Birmingham’s Pardis and Frank Stitt on Sunday, Sept. 13, part of a livestreamed Zoom event presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Nosrat’s visit, which was originally scheduled to be live as part of the Alys Stephens Center’s season, has been redesigned so the center can still present topnotch performances for its patrons despite the pandemic. This performance will be a virtual culinary conversation and a live Q-and-A discussion with Nosrat and the Stitts, owners and operators of Bottega, Chez Fon-Fon, and Highlands Bar & Grill, named 2018 Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation.

The event is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $29. Ticket buyers will be sent a private link to the event on the day of the event. For tickets, visit or call 205-975-2787.

As an undergraduate studying English at the University of California, Berkeley, Nosrat took a detour into the kitchen at Chez Panisse restaurant that happily determined the course of her life and career. Since 2000, she has pursued her twin passions of food and words with equal vigor, aiming to create work that inspires, creates community, and raises cultural, social and environmental awareness.

Nosrat’s book, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking,” illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, is a New York Times bestseller; 2018 James Beard General Cookbook of the Year, 2018; Fortnum & Mason Debut Cookbook; 2018 IACP Cookbook of the Year, 2018; IACP Julia Child First Book Award; and Sunday Times Food Book of the Year 2017. A documentary series based on the book is now streaming on Netflix. In 2018, she was named the Eater Chef of the Year. Nosrat is also one of five food columnists for the New York Times Magazine. In April 2019, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019 in the Pioneers category.

Nosrat has spoken about food, art, culture and cooking at venues as diverse as the Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services, UC Berkeley, Yale University, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, St. Mary’s College, University of San Francisco, the Orange Institute, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Artechef, the Cuban national cooking school. She is currently working on her next book, titled “What to Cook” (Ten Speed Press). 

SFHA3Chef Frank Stitt’s fondness for humble Southern ingredients comes from his roots in rural Cullman, Alabama, where he developed an early connection to food, land and farming. His culinary journey began to take shape when he moved to San Francisco, where he honed his kitchen skills at various restaurants, including the now legendary Chez Panisse. In 1977, he moved to the South of France to work for Richard Olney, who was compiling a multi-volume Time-Life series on cooking. Stitt eventually made his way back to the American South and returned to the foods and traditions of his childhood. Those roots, combined with his culinary experiences and adventurous spirit, led him to create a singular, deeply rich and passionate approach to food, according to his bio.

In 2001, Stitt received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast, and in 2008, he was nominated for Outstanding Chef. Stitt also received the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2006, and he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009, the most distinguished award given to an Alabamian. Two years later, Esquire magazine inducted him into its Restaurant Hall of Fame, and he was also named to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” Highlands Bar & Grill, winning the Outstanding Restaurant category in 2018, has been nominated 10 times by the James Beard Foundation.

As co-owner and operator of Highlands Bar & Grill, Pardis Stitt focuses on front-of-house operations; her attention to detail and warm welcome make Highlands so inviting. “Without her, the Highlands is not the Highlands,” Frank Stitt told The New York Times in 2013. She grew up in Birmingham, amid the inviting, food-centric culture of her Persian family. The couple, married since 1995, are active in their community and have a passion for the bounty, beauty and sophistication of the South, evident in each of their Birmingham restaurants.