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Yes, Chef Audiobook

Yes, Chef: A Memoir

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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)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1060 )
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  •  
    patricia 05-20-15
    patricia 05-20-15
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    "Must for Marcus fans"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really enjoyed this book. I connected with it on many levels. My Dad's Mom died from TB<br/>When he was eight. He and his 3 brothers wee not as lucky and were shipped to Canada<br/>And ended up being laborers on a farm in harsh conditions. I was raised with the same work ethic. Also I associate with his love of diversity in NY.


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

    None


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Many


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

    Both. Laugh at the screw up and cry due to kindness, esp of his birth Mom and adoptive parents.


    Any additional comments?

    Marcus thanks for sharing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-20-15
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    "Interesting Journey"

    It was a overall good story. Being an immigrant gives you a good perspective of how much the world is different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanne 05-03-15
    Susanne 05-03-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Best book I had in my hands this year."

    It is very touching how persistent this young man describes his carrier and how difficult it was for him just because of his skin color. I love books with happy endings. I will make sure I will visit his restaurant and maybe with a little luck I will have a chance to talk to him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 04-21-15
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 04-21-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Inspiring, colorful story"

    Marcus Samuelsson's autobiography will take you from Ethiopia, to Sweden, to Austria and Switzerland, then to New York and then back and forth all over again. Marcus travelled the world gathering knowledge about food and people and then managing to learn a lot about himself in the process. This was a fascinating look in to the tough world of culinary arts and into the life of a very interesting Ethiopian born/ Swedish raised man who came to rest in Harlem , NYC. Read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vlSchlegel Kalispell, MT, US 04-16-15
    vlSchlegel Kalispell, MT, US 04-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A real treat!"

    I can't really say what I enjoyed more, Marcus' personal story, the food story or his philosophy regarding both! I don't consider myself a foodie, and so was quite surprised at how appealing I found this book. The author's voice, though sometimes a tad difficult to understand, (not often or much) added a delightful flavor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Vee 04-15-15
    Jodie Vee 04-15-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Eye opening story of a man and a passion"

    Eye opening story of the ranks of professional kitchen work and a man with a passionate dream that in the end humility and hard work won for him. A unique journey that after listening you feel part of on a deeper level. Food gives us roots and memories. I love too that this book was narrated by the author. It adds so much dimension for the listener. Highly recommend this listen, an absorbing life story. I hope to visit his restaurant one day!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 03-09-15
    Sarah 03-09-15
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    "Inspiring"

    As someone who chases flavors as a hobby I found both Marcus's story very inspiring. I hope I make it to Harlem to try Red Rooster out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Westley 03-09-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Brilliant!"

    I never review a book but I had to review this book. It was beautifully honest . I wonderful listen. Please don't miss out!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phenix 03-08-15
    Phenix 03-08-15
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    "Good book."

    Good book. Very interesting life. I was so intrigued. Sometimes it was like listing to someone recant my life growing up as a extra cute, blue eyed white American kid in west Africa, Venezuela and Philippines. Then rising in my fields of expertise.
    I little too much black power sentiment at the end. But we all need to make a living, the race card works for some folks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian T. McGill 03-03-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A very inspirational story"

    I had no reason to listen to this great book. I just saw that and thought I'd give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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