Memoirs/Food & Cooking
Hardcover, 336 pages
Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, adopted by Swedish parents at the age of three and now owns and operates a "soulful" restaurant in Harlem, New York City. Just those three facts alone should interest you in this book. Yes, Chef is an autobiography of a man who learned his "place" in the kitchen at a very young age. It started with his Swedish grandmother teaching him how to, "kill a chicken old-school style." He continued to learn from chefs of all sorts who taught him the universal rule of the kitchen, "Stay invisible unless you're going to shine." He fought against the odds and made plenty of mistakes along the way. The fact that he survived Tuberculosis as a toddler should be a sign of what a fighter he is. Samuelsson illustrates how he was able to combine his incredibly diverse culinary tastes into masterpieces. One wouldn't think to combine Ethiopian fare with Swedish, but he does it, and he does it well.