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Yes, Chef: A Memoir
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Random House Publishing Group 2012
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JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“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 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 Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home.
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 style—in 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
 
“Elegantly written . . . Samuelsson has the flavors of many countries in his blood.”—The Boston Globe
 
“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

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Street Date:
06/26/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780440338819
ASIN:
B005SHQGBM
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Marcus Samuelsson. (2012). Yes, Chef: A Memoir. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marcus Samuelsson. 2012. Yes, Chef: A Memoir. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marcus Samuelsson, Yes, Chef: A Memoir. Random House Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marcus Samuelsson. Yes, Chef: A Memoir. Random House Publishing Group, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        A James Beard Award–winning chef and author of several cookbooks, Marcus Samuelsson has appeared on Today, Charlie Rose, Iron Chef, and Top Chef Masters, where he took first place. In 1995, for his work at Aquavit, Samuelsson became the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times. His newest restaurant, Red Rooster, recently opened in Harlem, where he lives with his wife.

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publishDate
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title
Yes, Chef
fullDescription

JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“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 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 Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home.
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 style—in 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
 
“Elegantly written . . . Samuelsson has the flavors of many countries in his blood.”—The Boston Globe
 
“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

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: President Bill Clinton
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ruth Reichl, bestselling author of Tender at the Bone
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Gabrielle Hamilton, bestselling author of Blood, Bones, & Butter
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
      • content: "The pleasures of this memoir are numerous. Marcus Samuelsson's life, like his cooking, reflects splendidly multicultural influences and educations, and he writes about it all with an abundance of flavor and verve. A delicious read."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 2, 2012
        Samuelsson, the chef and owner of Harlem’s famed Red Rooster restaurant, masterfully serves us a delicious banquet full of the ingredients that compose his own enchanting yet poignant story. When he was two, Samuelsson, his older sister, and his mother contracted tuberculosis in rural Ethiopia; after several days journey to the capital Addis Ababa, the three were admitted to a hospital. Samuelsson and his sister survived their mother, and they were soon adopted by a couple in Sweden. With the consummate skill of a master chef, Samuelsson cooks up a steaming stew of his life from his earliest cooking lessons at the hands of his grandmother to his various apprenticeships in Switzerland, France, and New York. From his grandmother’s food he learns rustic cooking and the ways that she knew intuitively how to create various textures in foods. When he’s 12 and on a fishing trip with his father, Samuelsson cooks his first meal and learns an important lesson about the beauty of food in context and how important it is to let the dishes be reflective of your surroundings. Samuelsson carries readers through his many failures and successes as a cook in restaurants like New York’s Aquavit and France’s Georges Blanc and in his relationships. Much like life, he delightfully points out, a great restaurant is more than just a series of services; it is a collection of meals and memories.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2012
        A compelling memoir from an acclaimed chef. Born in Ethiopia, the author was placed in an orphanage after his mother died from tuberculosis, and the Samuelsson family adopted him and his sister. After becoming a famous chef, the author sought out his roots in multiple visits to his birth country. During one of those visits, he reconnected with his father, and he has kept in touch with his birth family since then. In rich detail, the author tracks his rise as a chef, from the cooking classes at his vocational high school and his first internship, to his appearance on Bravo's Top Chef, which coincided with his cooking of the White House State Dinner after President Obama's inauguration. The author chronicles the long and grueling hours in the kitchen and looks at the stiff hierarchy that exists not only among the kitchen staff, but also among head chefs. It took Samuelsson several years of working at Aquavit (where he "became the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star rating from the New York Times") to be accepted as an equal chef by veterans, like Bobby Flay, already in the inner circle. In 2010, Samuelsson won Top Chef Masters, and he currently owns and runs Red Rooster Harlem in New York City. In addition to plenty of behind-the-scenes details, the author ably captures the feeling of being a young, single (he is now married), ambitious person in New York City. Samuelsson strikes a skillful balance between the personal and the professional--recommended for those interested in pursuing a career as a chef or those curious about the secrets behind high-end dining.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2012

        Orphaned in Ethiopia, raised by an adoptive family in Sweden, and the youngest chef ever to be given three stars by the New York Times, James Beard Award-winning chef Samuelsson talks about eating (yes, food memoirs are sizzling) but also what it's like to be a black man in the white-white world of upscale cooking.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2012
        Even if he had not become one of the world's most celebrated chefs, Samuelsson would be the stuff of legend. Born into poverty in Ethiopia, the orphaned boy and his sister were adopted by a Swedish couple, who provided a nurturing home. Working side-by-side with his grandmother, he learned the best of Swedish cuisine. A stint in cooking school gave him entree to the continent's best kitchens and the discipline of French technique. Shortly after his arrival in New York, critics recognized his genius, and Swedish cooking became all the rage in Manhattan. Returning to his Ethiopian roots, he discovered that his father was still alive and that he had a family in Africa. He then went on to popularize African cuisine in America with the same passion he had devoted to Swedish food, and he now holds sway at a gastronomic temple in Harlem devoted to the myriad food traditions of Africa.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2012

        Among the many celebrity chefs who have written memoirs, Samuelsson, winner of the second season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, stands out for his ability to layer effectively the stories of his globe-spanning life and career with evocative descriptions of meals (as readers of food writing expect). Although he was born in a remote Ethiopian village, his mother died of tuberculosis when he was three years old, and he and his sister were adopted by the Samuelssons from Goteborg, Sweden. He spent his childhood playing soccer, fishing with his father, and watching his grandmother cook. Samuelsson's passion and drive took him around the world to apprentice with the best. He finally landed in New York City, where he gained at Aquavit a coveted three-star New York Times review. VERDICT This distinctive and compelling memoir has all the elements of a good story: humor, travel, and a young individual overcoming obstacles via a passionate calling. Highly recommended for Samuelsson's many fans and lovers of culinary memoirs. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]--Ann Wilberton, Pace Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“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 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 Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career...

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