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About Kitchen Arts & Letters 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.

The books you see listed here are our latest arrivals with some longtime bestsellers mixed in. They are just a fragment of the more than 12,000 titles we have in stock, which come from all over the world and are in many languages. We ship worldwide.

What We Do Differently

First, for most books on this website, our description tells 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 ones which are not.


Inside Kitchen Arts

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

Find Us

The outside of Kitchen Arts

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.




What Other People Say About Us

If you would like to learn more about us, check out these features:

The New York Times


Taste Cooking


Google Reviews


Our Team 

Nach Waxman, Founding Partner

Nach Waxnab

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.

Matt Sartwell, Managing Partner

Matt SartwellMatt came to Kitchen Arts & Letters in 1991 after a career as a book editor. He’s the store generalist, doing a lot of weeknight cooking, occasional sweet and savory baking, preserving, and dabbling everywhere. Cookbooks are to him as shiny things to a magpie.

Matt handles most new title ordering, both domestic and foreign.

He is a former chair of the book committee of the James Beard Awards and a member of the IACP's Culinary Classics committee. He has sometimes been a guest on the Cooking Issues podcast, where he discusses classics in the field, noteworthy food books which may not be well known.

Laura Jackson, Sales Associate

Laura JacksonOriginally from the Southwest, Laura made her way to New York City to attend The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. Her initial interest in whole-foods based, vegetarian cuisine was superseded by an enduring sweet tooth, leading her to become a pastry chef.

After over fifteen years in restaurants, Laura is pursuing her food-related interests outside the professional kitchen. She assisted Nach with the out-of-print operations at Kitchen Arts & Letters for several years and now leads that program herself.

Gil Calderon, Sales Associate

Gil CalderonFormer chef, artist, and book collector–Gil Calderon has trained as a filmmaker at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and as a chef and butcher within Brooklyn's farm-to-table movement.

Born in the Upper East Side and raised between Queens and Toronto, Gil developed his cooking instincts at a young age by dint of unsupervised cooking sessions and untamed kitchen experimentation. He went on to produce large-scale food events throughout the Northeast during his decade-long cooking career. 

Gil's culinary interests now center around nutrition, hyper-local and seasonal eating, as well as traditional cooking methods and techniques, in particular, regional home cooking and food preservation.

Chris Fry, Sales Associate

Chris FryAfter graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in the mid-aughts, Chris spent years in the kitchens, wine cellars, and dining rooms of some of NYC’s most lauded restaurants. 

Prior to his culinary career he received a degree in cultural anthropology and his interest in the local cuisines and customs of the world carry through to his interest in cookbooks. He’s always hunting for new  flavors and time-honored recipes wherever people and food converge.

Natalie Stroud, Sales Associate

Natalie StroudOriginally from Oakland, California, Natalie moved to New York to pursue her Master's degree in Food Studies at New York University. With a focus on food and culture and food media, she is passionate about exploring the story behind the foods we love.  

When she is not studying or working, Natalie enjoys hiking, trying new restaurants, staring lovingly at New York's dogs, and eating bread in all shapes and forms.



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