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Yes, Chef: A Memoir Paperback – May 21, 2013
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Advance praise for Yes, Chef
“The Red Rooster’s arrival in Harlem brought with it a chef who has reinvigorated and reimagined what it means to be American. In his famed dishes, and now in this memoir, Marcus Samuelsson tells a story that reaches past racial and national divides to the foundations of family, hope, and downright good food.”—President Bill Clinton
“I’ve read a lot of chefs’ books, but never anything like this one. Marcus Samuelsson has had such an interesting life, and he talks about it with touching modesty and remarkable candor. I couldn’t put this book down.”—Ruth Reichl, bestselling author of Tender at the Bone
“Marcus Samuelsson has an incomparable story, a quiet bravery, and a lyrical and discreetly glittering style—in the kitchen and on the page. I liked this book so very, very much.”—Gabrielle Hamilton, bestselling author of Blood, Bones, & Butter
“The pleasures of this memoir are numerous. Marcus Samuelsson’s life, like his cooking, reflects splendidly multicultural influences and educations, and he writes about it all with an abundance of flavor and verve. A delicious read.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
About the Author
A James Beard Award–winning chef and author of several cookbooks, Marcus Samuelsson has appeared on Today, Charlie Rose, Iron Chef, and Top Chef Masters, where he took first place. In 1995, for his work at Aquavit, Samuelsson became the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times. His newest restaurant, Red Rooster, recently opened in Harlem, where he lives with his wife.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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We discover that Marcus is both an inspired and driven man. He was inspired at the apron strings of his Swedish grandmother Helga through whom he discovered the joy of chopping and mixing and creating good food. His drive comes from an internal struggle to please the parents that took him out of a life of poverty and gave him every opportunity he desired. They instilled a strong moral compass and sense of propriety that required Marcus to stand out amongst other chefs in the kitchen. Marcus has an innate ability to compartmentalize his life. When his personal life collides with his professional drive we see this magnified. But, we are afforded a peek into the life he begins to create on his own terms as he moves up the ranks and becomes the chef he desired to be. In this climb he steps back to his roots, re-connects with his Ethiopian father and family as well as with a daughter he put in a box marked "later". As tragedies continue to strike Marcus shares how each experience helped shape the man he is today. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book - it is definitely a must read for a real foodie but even one whose fine dining repertoire includes McDonalds will enjoy the story.
I have read several memoirs by chefs and believe me this profession is not for the weak at heart. These people eat, breath and live their calling. Ramsey, Puck, White, Reichel and Samuelsson did not become great Chefs by being mediocre. they about killed themselves working and striving to be not just good but by becoming the best!
Samuelsson wrote about his background being adopted by a loving Swedish couple. He had a wonderful upbringing and credits his Swedish grandmother giving him his love of food. Later in the book he goes into his Ethiopian birth country. He locates his birth father and several half siblings.
I've enjoyed watching Samuelsson on the Food Network. I saw when he won Chef Masters and watched him on Chopped as a judge. now I've read his memoir. I admire his dedication and came away again realizing being a Chef is damn hard work!!
Overall, delivering a memoir that pulls on all the senses, from the choices Marcus made selecting friends, his lessons learned acknowledging mistakes, his passion for cooking, which includes a broad professional culinary education, along with sacrifices he’s taken on... like the many people he’s mentored...near and far, none more so than his half sisters, makes Yes, Chef a phenomenal treat to experience! Absolutely redeemable. Highly recommended. Simply a Must!