Thanks for supporting an independent bookstore! We've been offering informed, opinionated perspective since 1983.

About The Store and Its People

Welcome!

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.

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.

 

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 letters@kitchenartsandletters.com

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.

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:

The New York Times

Eater

Taste Cooking

Forbes

 

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.

Laura Jackson, Sales Associate

Born in New Mexico, raised in Colorado, Laura made her way to New York City to attend The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. Her first job after culinary school was at the now-shuttered NYC staple vegan eatery Angelica Kitchen, where she remained for four years. While her passion lies in whole foods-based cuisine, she couldn’t resist the call of pastry. After over fifteen years in the back of the house, 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 runs that program herself..

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