About The Store and Its People
Kitchen Arts & Letters is a New York City bookstore specializing in food and drink. We are a cookbook store, but we are also much more. We are proud of our range of food history and scholarship and we have a terrific array of great food writing.
We want a visit to our website or to our shop to introduce you to wonderful books you never knew existed.
What We Do Differently
First, for most books on this website, our description tell you what we think about a book. Why is it a good choice, and for whom? Does it excel at something? Does it have a weakness? We know that no book is the right book for absolutely everyone and we want you to find the book that will help you the most.
You will see some book descriptions which begin, "This is what the publisher tells us about this book." This means we've used the copy supplied by the publisher, which is the same copy you'll see on almost every other bookseller's website.
Publisher's copy is sometimes inaccurate, if for no other reason than it is written long before a manuscript has been turned in, and written by someone who has never read more than a summary of what the book was originally supposed to be about.
On our website, we use publisher copy most often when a book is in pre-release, so we have not seen it yet. Or it's a recent arrival and we have not had a chance to spend enough time with it to form an opinion.
We often have very strong opinions about books. We're more likely to tell you about the books we think are great than complain about the one which are not.
Who We Serve
Kitchen Arts opened in 1983. Julia Child, James Beard, and Laurie Colwin were among our early customers. Ever since we have been helping people who are serious about food–or who are getting curious–find books they want, need, and will enjoy.
Today our customers include Michelin-starred chefs from around the world and neighborhood home cooks who want to put a good dinner on the table.
We also actively track down out-of-print and otherwise scarce books. Ask us for anything you're looking for: there is never an obligation.
If you don’t see what you want among the books on this site, please call or email us.
Our phone number is 212-876-5550; you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The store is located at 1435 Lexington Avenue, between 93rd and 94th Streets in the Carnegie Hill neighborhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side. You can take the 6 train to 96th Street, or the 4 or 5 trains to 86th Street. Also, the Q train stops at 96th Street and Second Avenue.
We're open Monday to Saturday from 10-6. We will close at 4 pm on New Year's Eve and be closed New Year's Day.
What Other People Say About Us
If you would like to learn more about us, check out these features:
Nach Waxman, Founding Partner
Nach opened Kitchen Arts & Letters in 1983, having previously worked in book publishing for eighteen years. Most of his time during the 21st century was devoted to KAL’s out-of-print business. Although he enjoyed nearly every aspect of the world of food, he particularly relished food history and culture, which is reflected in the store’s substantial stock in those areas. His cooking passion was the many cuisines of India, although he was more than casually interested in Jewish food traditions as well. He was a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Sadly, he passed away in August, 2021 and is deeply missed. His obituary made the front page of the New York Times website. Like so many mentions of Nach, it talks about his famous brisket recipe.
You can watch an online tribute to Nach which was sponsored by The New School for Social Research here.