I first heard of Marcus Samuelsson
when we saw him on Chopped All Stars. We watch a lot of cooking shows at home but Marcus blew us away. He was an amazing chef to watch. I know that the majority of the chefs on there are better cooks than me but he was by far and away the best chef I've ever seen work. For weeks, we kept watching to see if he popped up again. Around that time, I saw he'd published a book, Yes, Chef
. I kept getting it from the library but it always had to be returned before I could read it. This time, I made sure to read it. And I'm so glad I did.
Yes, Chef is more than the story about how Marcus became a chef. It's a story about a man trying to help connect people through food and make sure food history isn't lost. Yes, Chef made me like Marcus more than I already did.
Marcus was born in Ethiopia, adopted by Swedish parents, trained as a chef in Switzerland and France, and now lives in New York. I loved how Marcus was led around the world by his tongue. Not only did he want to learn cooking techniques, Marcus wanted to learn about flavors. He's always seeking to be better, to learn more. And he would learn from anyone, not just the master chefs. He had a great story about learning how to make injera
from a woman in Ethiopia. In fact some of his best stories were about him, learning to make food from regular folks, not professional chefs.
Marcus' commitment to bring good food to everyone made my heart sing. Food inequality and food deserts are a huge problem for people of all ages. I would love to get more involved with the movements helping bring fresh foods to those living in poverty but it's not in the cards for me right now. I love knowing how's he's helping bring real food to those who have been without.
The only downside is that there are no recipes! Marcus speaks so lovingly about so many foods. I wish there had been recipes but I understand this was not a cookbook. This book will make you hungry and you will want to wander through Manhattan, eating or head to kitchen to play with your food. Others who share their thoughts on Yes, Chef: Pen and Fork
, Write Meg
, and The Well-Read Redhead
This is my second read for the Foodies Read Challenge.
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