I've read a lot of memoirs about cooking from Ruth Reichl to Anthony Bourdain but this might be the best one yet. Samualsson's reading makes it so personal to listen to but he remains humble throughout. This isn't the cocky book that usually comes from the celebrity chef world. This is absolutely worth your credit!
Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud because both are thoughtful and carefully crafted manuals for anyone thinking about becoming a chef, or just those of us who are simply fascinated by the subject of fine cuisine and the men and women who make cooking their profession.
Mr. Samuelsson is a wonderful narrator. His voice is smooth and easy to listen to and it's hard to imagine anyone else reading this. I wish more writers would narrate their novels.
Marcus Samuelsson is a humble man with a remarkable background. His life is a testament to how driving desire and hard work can overcome prejudice and adversity. His story is fascinating and I came away with newfound respect and admiration for this chef. I hope one day to eat in his restaurant in Harlem, Red Rooster.
Stories of rising from poverty to the world stage are often mythic. This is real, authentic, showing the unfolding of awareness and discovery of the world and himself. Not heroic, but the world through the eyes of a person born into war, disease, and poverty, who grew up in very provincial Sweden, and learned to compete on the global stage.
The simple honesty of the continual rediscovery of himself, his capability, and the moral principles needed to be balanced and focused.
Oh, yeah, and the story is about food.
If you liked Anthony Bordain's down and dirty view of the restaurant world, this is a counterbalance. Yes, there are jerks, racists, and blowhards, but as told by Samuelsson, it's one that allows for good souls to emerge, too.
Authentic, personal, a bit struggled
I learned of Samuelsson through the book, Aquavit. An Ethiopian Swede presents a global fusion style that is simple, elegant, inspired. Honoring and extending the cuisines. Not a celebrity book or an instant fad cuisine, but something very honest. The opportunity to hear his story in his own voice was not to be passed up. The story transcends food, surely, but uses cooking as the expression of his discovery of the world and himself.
I'm not a fan of inspirational books as a genre, or of fad food books and stories. This is different, a must-listen if you're a foodie or not.
His reading is not as fluent as a professional voice, and there are passages where there is a bit of a struggle in his reading, but it also lends to the authenticity of his story.
"Yes, Chef" is a wonderful heartfelt book by a man with such spirit and drive. It gave me insight into the restaurant/cooking industry as well as a few hints about roasted chicken. It is a fascinating look at the life of an international man.
Samuelsson reveals his faults as well as his achievements honestly and without excuses.
I initially bought the book because I love cooking, and because I have an adopted Ethiopian grandson which has resulted in a personal interest in all things Ethiopian.
My reaction to this book is that I am looking forward to going to NYC so I might go to the Red Rooster for a meal or two.
BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR ME.
Samuelsson wrote from the heart without too much concern about not sounding masculine.
There is nothing like the love of a grandmother and he did a wonderful job of recalling her love and guidance through cooking.
Chasing Flavors, finding life.
Samuelsson provides a true American story. His love and respect for Harlem sparkles through the facets of his Sweden and Ethiopia.
This is a beautiful memoir by a remarkable man. Yes, Chef addresses the areas that most other "celebrity chef" autobiographies hit - the discovery of flavors, the rigors of the professional kitchen, etc. What distinguishes this book is its heart - it's like a love letter to his family, to his craft, and to his community. And definitely an example of a book where the reading by the author makes the audio experience far richer than reading the text.
A fascinating story. What makes it even more special is that Chef Samuelsson narrates it. I can't wait to eat at Red Rooster the next time I am in NY.
HIs story is one to take inspiration from. It just goes to show that when you dont make excuses or let "stuff" get in your way, good things can happen with determination. What an inspiration Marcus is to all of us. We own several restaurants, and I have bought several copies of his book for our staff to pass around in our kitchen(s). Loved his story and his sense of place. Perhaps a bit drawn out, if you aren't a foodie, but all in all a sweet read.
Enjoy history, self help, novels, not a sequel follower.
Yes because I loved Marcus Samuelsson telling his story.
The sincerity in in voice, his openess and disclosure of his struggles and achievements, felt a connection with his family values.
It made me think and understand the world of chef's better.
Chef's are truly impressive people.
I loved that Marcus Samuelsson was willing to share the not so flattering aspects of his journey; the difficult times as well as the triumphs of his career. I knew him best from Top Chef Masters, and to be honest found him to be a bit obnoxious on the show. Reading what was happening behind the scenes while Top Chef Masters was taping opened my eyes and I rescinded my initial harsh judgement of him. I came to admire chef Marcus, and am now rooting for his continued success in an incredibly competitive and tough business. He's an original - I mean an Ethiopian kid raised in Sweden for starters. He's a fighter, driven to succeed, loves good food, and flavor most of all. I thoroughly enjoyed his story and enjoyed listening to his unique accent as he read his own story. Bravo chef Marcus. My next trip is to New York to check out Red Rooster.
His trip to Ethiopia to meet with his father. I could relate, as I met my birth father as an adult as well. So many emotions.
His unique accent.
Reading about the effects of 911 on New York; life forever changed on an unforgettably beautiful September morning.
Marcus Samuelsson is a talented guy, multilingual, a gifted chef, a snappy dresser (love his personal style). Really enjoyed this read.