Monday, September 18, 2017

Yes, Chef - Marcus Samuelsson

Yes, Chef
Title: Yes, Chef
Author: Marcus Samuelsson
Publication Date: 6/26/12
Pages: 337
Genre: Food / Memoir / Nonfiction
How I Found It: I've seen Samuelsson on Food Network shows and am always looking for another good food memoir.
Date Completed: 8/16/17

Summary: Sameulsson's is an unlikely story. Adopted out of Ethopia by a Sweedish family, he's found himself to be a celebrity chef in America.

What I Thought: Any longtime reader of the blog knows I love me some foodie memoirs. Though we don't have cable, I'm an avid watcher of the Food Network when I have a chance. And we watched a lot of Chopped when it was on Netflix. So, Marcus Samuelsson is a familiar face to us. I knew a little about him before picking up his memoir, but reading his full story was fascinating.

Samuelsson has had a fairly unique journey. He was born in rural Ethopia and adopted, along with his sister, by a Sweedish family after his mother died. Samuelsson grew up in Sweeden and made his way into the world of cooking through European kitchens. These experiences give him a really global palate and a different perspective on things than most American chefs have. 

Often with these memoirs, there are recipes or more descriptions of the food itseslf. Samuelsson does talk a lot about food, but not in the same kind of food porn way many other authors do. He doesn't include any recipes and the book really is focused on his story, rather than his culinary creations. That caught me off guard a little, but I ended up really liking the book for what it was. Samuelsson's story is so interesting that he didn't need the normal gimmicks to keep me interested.

Chefs are often polarizing figures. The job demands a certain attitude and swagger. So, it was very interesting to hear Samuelsson, who undoubtedly carries some of that ego, describe his own journey and his interactions with other chefs. Everyone tells their story in the best light possible. Sameulsson doesn't shy away from admitting his own mistakes, especially in regards to his daughter, but there were a few moments when I wondered how other people involved would have described the same situation. 

I enjoyed this. It definitely gave me a deeper understanding of Samuelsson, his cooking, and how he came to be a "celebrity chef." 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Doubtful
If You Liked This, Try: Back of the House / Sous Chef / The Apprentice

A Reduced Review: Less about food than I expected, but Samuelsson's story is interesting enough on its own to hold the reader's attention. 

No comments:

Post a Comment