Yes, Chef: A Memoir

Yes, Chef: A Memoir

  • Publish Date: 2012-06-26
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Marcus Samuelsson;Veronica Chambers
  • $13.37
  • Save $21.64

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One of the great culinary stories of our time.Dwight Garner,The New York Times

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmothers house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations.

Marcus Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sisterall battling tuberculosiswalked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later they were welcomed into a loving middle-class white family in Gteborg, Sweden. It was there that Marcuss new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food and cooking with her pan-fried herring, her freshly baked bread, and her signature roast chicken. From a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up.

Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelssons remarkable journey from Helgas humble kitchen to some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, from his grueling stints on cruise ships to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a coveted New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelssons career of chasing flavors, as he calls it, had only just begunin the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs and, most important, the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fufilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining rooma place where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, bus drivers, and nurses. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home.

With disarming honesty and intimacy, Samuelsson also opens up about his failuresthe price of ambition, in human termsand recounts his emotional journey, as a grown man, to meet the father he never knew. Yes, Chef is a tale of personal discovery, unshakable determination, and the passionate, playful pursuit of flavorsone mans struggle to find a place for himself in the kitchen, and in the world.

Praise for Yes, Chef

Such an interesting life, told with touching modesty and remarkable candor.Ruth Reichl

Marcus Samuelsson has an incomparable story, a quiet bravery, and a lyrical and discreetly glittering stylein the kitchen and on the page. I liked this book so very, very much.Gabrielle Hamilton

Plenty of celebrity chefs have a compelling story to tell, but none of them can top [this] one.The Wall Street Journal

Red Roosters 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

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