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Yes, Chef: A Memoir

Marcus Samuelsson

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

The remarkable bestselling memoir of a world-renowned, award-winning chef and restaurateur.

Travel to Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and you will find a truly diverse, multiracial dining room - where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, bus drivers and nurses. It is also a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can finally feel at home.

Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister, all battling tuberculosis, walked seventy-five 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 new family in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was there that his new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food - from a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up.
He made his way to the US via some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, taking in some gruelling stints on cruise ships before becoming executive chef at Aquavit in New York, where at the age of 24 he became the youngest chef ever to be awarded a coveted three-star rating from the New York Times. His profile has only continued to grow from there - he's cooked state dinners for Barack Obama, runs seven restaurants including the phenomenally popular Red Rooster in Harlem, and has appeared on numerous television shows including Top Chef Masters, which he won, beating 21 world-class chefs in the process. His profile is set to rise internationally as his reputation grows, and as his incredible story is told.

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Praise for Yes, Chef: A Memoir

  • 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 Bestselling 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, Bestselling Author Of Blood, Bones & Butter

  • 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. - Henry Louis Gates, Jr

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