I love cooking and its science and history. I’m curious about methods to build flavor and the techniques of cooking. Knowledge makes us smarter cooks. 

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A brief introduction: I was a molecular biologist in academic research. (At one point, while I lived in Washington, D.C., I went back to school to study public policy to work on science and health policy research on The Hill. I studied but never got the chance to work in the policy sector.) I also found myself completely lost in academia, and when I woke up in the morning, I lacked enthusiasm. During those long hours of waiting for experiments to finish and sitting next to the computer in the lab, I discovered the world of food blogs and eventually created my own, A Brown Table, which now goes by Nik Sharma Cooks. I started to write, develop recipes, and photograph them for the blog. As time progressed, I became more excited to work on the blog than be in the lab. Eventually, I moved to California, and after taking advice from food writer and cookbook author David Lebovitz, I staged at a patisserie to get experience in a professional setting. I loved it! When I woke up in the mornings, I was thrilled and enthusiastic to get into the patisserie and work. I then realized this was what I was always meant to do. 

My newsletter, The Flavor Files, is focused on applying science to cooking and how to build more flavorful and tastier meals. Each week, you’ll receive short essays on different topics, from techniques, ingredients, myth-busting, and more. My goal is to empower you to be confident cooks. In addition, you’ll also receive my weekly digest of recipes, cookbook recommendations, interviews with authors and friends from the industry, and more. 

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Three Things About Me

  • I once tested a banana recipe for a cake recipe more than sixteen times. The cake turned out fantastic, but the consequence is that I can no longer see or handle the sight of bananas, especially the over-ripe ones. Sorry, there won’t be any banana recipes (or turnips, bitter melon, or doodhi - I loathe them for various reasons) here for a long time.

  • I love ice cream a lot. I don’t share it, but I will share the recipe.

  • My full name is Nikhil, but I go by Nik.

A lot has happened since then. I’ve been the food columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, Serious Eats, and Food52. I’ve also contributed to The New York Times and The Washington Post. I’ve written and photographed two best-selling cookbooks, Season and The Flavor Equation, and I am currently working on two new ones. My latest cookbook, The Flavor Equation, allowed me to write about how the different elements of flavor: Emotion, Sight, Sound, Mouthfeel (texture), Aroma, and Taste come together to build a remarkable experience for us as we cook and eat food. My books, photography, and writing have been finalists and winners for the James Beard Foundation, The IACP, The Art of Eating Prize, and The British Guild of Food Writer Awards. Most recently, The Flavor Equation (German edition) won the silver medal at The Gastronomische Akademie Deutschlands eV. 

My approach to cooking is to use recipes as experiments to help understand how flavor works and how to build recipes and methods that save time in the kitchen and make our lives easier and tastier. I aggressively test my recipes until I’m confident they’ll taste good and work. 

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Should I Subscribe?

You’re probably wondering why. Support from readers is what motivates me to write this newsletter. Free subscribers will receive monthly and additional newsletters at various times.

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Right now, nothing will be put behind a paywall. A paid subscription will support my team and me. Eventually, paid subscribers will receive full access to all my old and new newsletters. You will also be able to participate in discussions, comment on newsletters, receive curated menus, have early access to my books, and more. My newsletter and the recipes I write and test are reader-supported, and I greatly appreciate your investment in my work.

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Thank you for your love and support,



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A Cooking Course in Food Science to Make More Flavorful and Easier Meals in Your Kitchen Written by a 2X James Beard, Finalist and 3X IACP, Multi-Award Winning, Best-Selling Cookbook Author and Photographer, Chef, and Molecular Biologist Nik Sharma.


A former molecular biologist turned cookbook author, chef, and photographer whose goal is to help people cook smarter and create tastier meals at home.