Is it bad that I'm waiting with baited breath for Marcus Samuelsson to fly just a little too close to the sun? You can bet I'll be there to kick him wIs it bad that I'm waiting with baited breath for Marcus Samuelsson to fly just a little too close to the sun? You can bet I'll be there to kick him when he comes crashing down.
You see, this is not a memoir. It's the story of one man's unwavering ambition, and the book itself is just a cog in the massive Marcus Samuelsson self-promotion machine, a small workhorse that gives a little more publicity to the guy who has four restaurants, catered for the Obamas at the White House, and got himself gigs on the Food Network and Bravo.
But the thing is, I don't even care about the memoir being a self-serving gig to promote his agenda. That's fine. That's business. That's the state of American publishing. What bothers me here is Marcus Samuelsson's heaping sack of steaming crap, bound up, disguised as a story, and packaged nicely by a decently talented ghost writer. The entire thing is a healthy entree of bullshit with a side of crème fraîche.
While I do appreciate the fact that Samuelsson had to endure great hardships because of the color of his skin (and I take particular glee in the fact that he called out Gordon Ramsay for being a negative, loudmouth, asshole racist), I can't stand the fact that I'm supposed to ignore the pain he inflicted on others in pursuit of his dreams of becoming a chef.
Some examples? Samuelsson missed his father's funeral because our fair chef's visa paperwork prevented him from traveling. Well. It happens, and the dead are exceedingly understanding about these things. Let's try again. Oh, yes, he broke up with a girl he'd been dating for years to follow his dreams of working in a Swiss restaurant and simply can't fathom why she's upset. He's even more perturbed that she takes a job in Switzerland with him, so to cope with his annoyance, he fucks a different girl in Austria and knocks her up; that relationship produced a daughter for whom Samuelsson paid child support but refused to meet until she was fourteen because he was too busy making his career in New York and marrying a model. (Oh, great. Just what the world needs: another little girl with daddy issues. We all know what happens with those.)
(Good thing Samuelsson made up for lost time with his kid by flying her to New York to meet Kanye West at a party. Jesus. Fucking. Christ).
You know, ambition is fine. Ambition is what makes dirtbags like Marcus Samuelsson famous while people like me write pissed off reviews on goodreads. It's the fact that Samuelsson treats the people that are supposed to be important -- his daughter, his father, women, etc. -- like crap, but then praises himself for sending monthly financial support to his family of origin in Ethiopia (that gave him up for adoption when he was a baby), or talks about how much he loves his super-wealthy supermodel wife. Funny how the only woman he respects is one who's rich and gorgeous, and the only family he takes care of is the one that sounds great in New York Times articles. UGH.
When he wasn't trying to disguise his dickheadedness with faux acts of humanity, it was all food, food, food, food, food, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD and ... yeah, I couldn't take it.
So, Marcus Samuelsson, do your thing. Marry the model, run the chic four-star New York City restaurants. Pop up on every TV show on Bravo and the Food Network. Do your little promo thing with Illy. Rake in even more millions. Just keep flying higher, my friend...that's right, higher, right towards that warm glowing orb, just keep flying ... When you hit the ground with a thud, I'll be here waiting. With a pair of boots on....with steel-pointed toes.
Oh, and Marcus? You forgot to mention your daughter in the acknowledgments section. *shocker*