I started listening to this book not sure what to expect due to a couple of mixed reviews, but within the first few chapters I knew it was a good choice, Not to take away from some of the professional narraters who do a fantastic job with many books this one wouldn't have been as good if Mr Samuelson hadn't been the reader even considering his thick accent, I tended to be conservative regarding the adoption of children of one race into another (not in a racist way) because they might lose thier native culture but after listening to this wonderful story have changed my mind, would highly recommend this book!
This is a very entertaining and educational autobiography. Not only did I enjoy Samuelsson's journey from Ethiopia to New York, I also enjoyed his journey to becoming a top chef. The incredibly hard work along with an incredible drive and talent required to becoming a world renowned chef is amazing. Well worth the listen.
I knew a bit about Marcus Samuelsson from his time on Top Chef Masters, but didn't expect to read his book. After all, how interesting can a book about cooking be if you aren't a chef? In a word: plenty. Marcus Samuelsson ayers his story the same way he layers his flavors. The story is very interesting and and easily sweeps the listener along. It is a beautiful story!
A note about Marcus Samuelsson's narration since other reviewers have complained. I found his quiet, relaxed style to be the perfect way to tell the story. I didn't have any difficulty understanding him and I appreciate the fact that he read his own story.
I highly recommend this book! I chose it based on the excellent reviews and am happy to add mine to the list.
Fascinating chef's journey
As an autobiography, there's really just one "character" - the author. Loved hearing Samuelsson narrate his own amazing story.
As an autobiography, there's really just one "character" - Samuelsson
I actually did get teary a couple of times. The author is so candid about his life's journey (so far) and the hardships he encounters along the way. Many more smiles than tears, though. It was a great ride.
I'll never look at an independently owned restaurant the same way again! This story helps you understand everything that goes on behind the kitchen door before that meal arrives at your table. I wasn't sure I'd make it through 300+ pages on becoming a chef, but there wasn't a dull moment. Samuelsson has a fascinating story to tell and his love for food is contagious.
Maybe not. His description about the challenges he faced succeeding in a tough industry were interesting. I was not terribly impressed with how he handled some of his personal struggles though.
Marcus has a smooth voice and a nice rhythim to his reading.
This audibook is in my all-time top 10. Another reader's review led me to it (thank you!) and I was blown away by the content and the wonderful narration. Mr. Samuelsson is thoughtful and perceptive, telling his story with clarity and a desire to tell the truth about the industry and, more importantly, about himself.
What's not to like! The story of a Swedish couple creating a family, adopting two siblings (just recovered from tuberculosis) from Ethopia who would join their other foster child. The way they created a home for their children, from teaching Markus how to fish and how to cook, was beautiful. Throughout the book, Markus writes of his grandmother and parents' unconditional, but practical, love. Markus writes about his search for "flavours". He writes about the traditional European training for chefs. And, he writes about New York City. I loved this inside view of restaurants I have read about in the pages of Gourmet and Bon Appetit. Fabulous! Along the way, Mr. Samuelsson writes about the paucity of black chefs in top-ranked kitchens around the world and about his journey to bring "flavours" of the world to unique experiences of gourmet cuisine.
There are so many but two stand out in my mind. The first is Mr. Samuelsson's encounter with Gordon Ramsay - you'll have to listen to the book to understand how this encounter incorporates so many elements of Markus's journey as a man and as a top chef.
The other scene is Markus and Maya's wedding in Ethopia - again, these scenes contain so many of the elements of his personal journey. I loved the sense of colour, texture, flavours, and joy he is able to convey through his writing.
I loved this book! It made me cry and it made me laugh. It inspired me and it made me think.
Often, when an author narrates his/her own book, the result can be lacklustre. This is definitely NOT the case here. Mr. Samuelsson is the very best person for the task - he brings his desire for excellence to it, along with his lovely voice.
In all, this book has everything: a fascinating story about the world of top chefs as well as the search for excellence and identity. Along the way, something truly alchemical happens - the result is far more than the sum of its parts.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I was surprised and delighted that being a food watcher like me wasn't necessary to enjoy this book. It's such a study of honest contrasts with triumphs and flaws given equal weight. The opposites of African/Swede, confidence/self-doubt, and devoted family man/absent father, all add up to one of the more honest and interesting memoirs I've ever read. Yes, this is read rather haltingly by the author - - I kept reminding myself he's a chef, not an actor. But somehow, the accent, the burst of languages, and the sometimes choppy reading just adds to the fragility of feelings and understanding of the contrasts in his heritage and life experiences. I am very happy to have heard rather than read this book. I think this is how this one should be consumed. An Audible "credit" well spent.
I didn't read the print version, but hearing Marcus Samuelsson's voice and accent make his incredible life story very real.
I don't know. This is a very well written memoir of an incredible life, told by the author. And I am not a foodie.
No, but now I really wish I could go to his restaurant!
I can't wait for the book to be translated in French so I can give it to all my friends in France.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
I found it interesting to hear about the steps this man took to become a top-ranked chef. It was funny in places, and overall a well written story. Unlike some other reviewers, I did not have any trouble understanding the author/reader. I did ding him because he isn't an actor, and therefore there was no voice change between characters, but that never made the book difficult to follow.
If you are interested in regional cuisine and the food world in general, then you will probably enjoy this book.
Every aspect of this book works. The basic life story is fascinating, the insight into the inner workings of the kitchen are great and his observations of society- always as an outsider- are very revealing.