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Yes, Chef Audiobook

Yes, Chef: A Memoir

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s 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. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s 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 sister - all battling tuberculosis - walked 75 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 Göteborg, Sweden. It was there that Marcus’s 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 Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s 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 24. But Samuelsson’s career of “chasing flavors”, as he calls it, had only just begun - in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most importantly, the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fufilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room - a 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 failures - the price of ambition, in human terms - and 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 flavors - one man’s struggle to find a place for himself in the kitchen, and in the world.

©2012 Marcus Samuelsson (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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, best-selling 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, best-selling author of Blood, Bones, & Butter)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (772 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Trish Virginia 04-22-13
    Trish Virginia 04-22-13 Member Since 2010

    I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!

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    "Highly Recommend!!"

    I was not aware of Marcus Samuelsson prior to purchasing this book--but I'm very happy I listened to his memoir. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

    It was fun to listen to him talk about his early life, his early culinary years, and of course, his current success in the restaurant world. Through the many ups and down, I just wanted to cheer him on--

    I loved that he narrated this audiobook--his accent was a little distracting at first, but I quickly got past it. He, and his memoir, were totally charming!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chantal 04-05-13
    Chantal 04-05-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great listen takes you on a memorable journey"

    I had never heard about Chef Samuelsson when I picked up this title. I loved his descriptions of the culinary world and how his life experiences and origins influenced his taste in food and his prepation techniques. But this is much more than just about food. He also takes his listeners through the stages of his life and talks about what made him who he is today through an eye-opening journey that covers several continents and a multitude of kitchens, and talks about his origin, his families and friends with love and candor without glossing over some of the big mistakes he made. The reading of the book by the author, with its different delivery and little quirks, adds authenticity to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Tampa, FL, United States 04-02-13
    Jeanne Tampa, FL, United States 04-02-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A great listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to Yes, Chef the most enjoyable?

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to hear how he got where he is today and to hear his story.


    What other book might you compare Yes, Chef to and why?

    None that I can think of.


    Have you listened to any of Marcus Samuelsson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't heard anything else he has done, but I might now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DLaraway ALBANY, NY, United States 03-29-13
    DLaraway ALBANY, NY, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Unfair review"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I am truly unable to rate the book, becuase I found listening to Samuelsson so distracting, I could not listen beyond the first hour. I enjoy watching Marcus on the Food Network and his story seems like it would be very interesting, But I did not realize how distracting his accent would be too me.

    I guess I am actually going to have to READ this one, if I want the whole story


    Any additional comments?

    Disappointed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Windsor, Ontario, Canada 03-27-13
    Lindsay Windsor, Ontario, Canada 03-27-13
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    "Pretty near perfect"
    If you could sum up Yes, Chef in three words, what would they be?

    a tasty adventure


    What did you like best about this story?

    great reading from Samuelsson, a really interesting meander through Europe, NYC and Ethiopia. anyone who enjoys stellar food writing like Ruth Reichl or Anthony Bourdain should read this one - but there's also a great balance with Samuelsson's truly interesting story, from growing up adopted in Sweden to finding fame in the US, to reconnecting with his African roots. all around a great audiobook.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    i'm the type that needs to take a break every once in a while - but it was pretty captivating and a great companion to a 3 day road trip.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EFloyd Alcalde, NM, United States 03-20-13
    EFloyd Alcalde, NM, United States 03-20-13
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    "Amazing life story - you'll love him warts and all"
    Would you listen to Yes, Chef again? Why?

    Yes, I would definitely listen to Yes, Chef again. I have admired Marcus Samuelsson for a long time. His passion for food comes through anytime you see an interview or story about him. But I had no idea how much of his life hasn't been perfect - you hear about the many choices he's made to "chase flavors" and how he honors even the mistakes in his life as being important. His love of food and family unmistakably comes through in every chapter of this book.


    What other book might you compare Yes, Chef to and why?

    I adore autobiographies and biographies, but I think this is such a unique story, I hesitate to compare it to any other book I've read. I think you'll need to have at least a marginal interest in food and chefs, but other than that you can take much from this story of finding your own story.


    What does Marcus Samuelsson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The pronunciation of so many words that are foreign to me! If I had read the book I would still be stumbling over the names of towns in Sweden and the spices of Ethiopia! His narration takes a bit of time to understand but it adds so much to the story you can't help but be swept up into the narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I have been struggling with technical difficulties and it's maddening when all I wanted to do was get to the next part of the story! (This was my first Audible book on my iPhone, so I think it was a great learning experience!)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 03-14-13
    James 03-14-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting story made better by authors narration"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 03-08-13
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 03-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LL 02-22-13
    LL 02-22-13
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    "Yes, Indeed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JHart Cedar Rapids, IA, US 02-04-13
    JHart Cedar Rapids, IA, US 02-04-13
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    "Say Yes to Yes, Chef"
    If you could sum up Yes, Chef in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating chef's journey


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As an autobiography, there's really just one "character" - the author. Loved hearing Samuelsson narrate his own amazing story.


    Which character – as performed by Marcus Samuelsson – was your favorite?

    As an autobiography, there's really just one "character" - Samuelsson


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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