July 2012 Indie Next List
“Truly multicultural in the very best sense, Marcus Samuelsson was born and orphaned in Ethiopia, adopted by a Swedish family, and learned to cook in Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and France. At the age of 24, he became the chef at New York's Aquavit, then a Top Chef Master, and , finally, opened his own restaurant in Harlem. Samuelsson brings the reader along on his amazing and passionate odyssey in an engaging memoir that is highly recommended, even for non-foodies!”
— Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore, Chicago, IL
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
About the Author
MARCUS SAMUELSSON is owner of Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and former Executive Chef and co-owner of New York's Restaurant Aquavit, AQ Cafe at Scandinavia House, and Riingo. The youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from the New York Times, he starred on Discovery Home Channel's Inner Chef television series. His cookbooks include Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine, The Soul of a New Cuisine, which won the 2007 James Beard Foundation Award for best international cookbook, and New American Table.
Veronica Chambers was an editor for "The New York Times Magazine, " a culture writer for "Newsweek, " and a senior associate editor at "Premiere" magazine. Her work has appeared in "Vogue" and "Glamour, " among many other publications. She is also the author of a critically acclaimed memoir, "Mama's Girl." In 2000 she received a fellowship from the Japan Society to spend several months researching in Japan. She fell in love with the country and has returned for extended stays every year since.
Advance praise for Yes, Chef
“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.