Michael's Reviews > Yes, Chef: A Memoir

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
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's review
Aug 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, food-writing
Read from August 02 to 04, 2012

Marcus Samuelsson is the only "celebrity chef" I have any interest in. And I've been a fan of his since my last meal before moving from NYC at Aquavit. When I saw an ad for this book, I instantly sought it out, and discovered it in audiobook read by Samuelsson himself. While he's not the best reader, and at times his voice sounded taxed and he stumbled with flow, it was still inspiring hearing him tell his story. Several times tears came to my eyes. If you liked Jacques Pépin's memoir, you will enjoy this, because it is the same style. It's about his life and his craft. It isn't about yelling at staff, it isn't about how fantastic he is, it isn't about the seedy side of restaurants. It's also not one of the spate of chef memoirs by A) people who aren't chefs, B) haven't been in the industry long enough to have any clout. It is by someone who truly knows what he is doing, and who's goals are for a broader cultural and ethical purpose that his own fame. Samuelsson is a great chef, because it's all about the food, not himself. He is sure, but humble and grounded. He honestly gives equal time to his failures in life and profession as he does to his successes. While he could have easily used part of the book to take Gordon Ramsey to task over an incident, Samuelsson takes the hight road and simply lets Ramsey's despicable actions speak for themselves, and instead uses the incident to discuss the broader issues. He also offers some honest insights into the business side, making me take note to learn from his costly mistake as I venture into my own enterprise.

If I liked Marcus Samuelsson before I read this book, I love him even more now and count him as one of my culinary inspirations even though I've only tasted his food once. Reading this book was incredibly inspiring as I discovered that we share the same outlook on food.
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Reading Progress

08/02/2012 "Really looking forward to this one. Ten minutes in an already misty eyed. Wow."
25.0% "If I liked Marcus Samuelsson before, I love him even more now!"
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