This autobiography was recommended by a friend, and since I love “foodie” books, I knew I would like this one. I admit I hadn’t heard of Marcus Samuellson before – he was an award-winning chef of Aquavit in New York, had done some television, and had the honor of preparing the Obamas’ first State Dinner at the White House.
His story is fascinating. Born in Ethiopia, he and his sister were adopted by a Swedish couple and raised as a Scandinavian. He grew to love cooking and food due to the influence of his Swedish grandmother, and attended culinary school in Sweden. From there, Samuelsson’s rise to the top of the culinary world was a combination of hard work & creativity, personal recommendations, and being at the right place at the right time. In fact, he was lucky to have a deep knowledge of Swedish cooking, because without it, we probably would never had heard of him. That knowledge got his foot in the door of a famed NYC restaurant – and we learn through Samuelsson, that it is nearly impossible to gain entry into that world (doubly impossible is you are a black man, like Samuelsson).
I very much enjoyed reading about Samuelsson’s journey, and recommend it for anyone interested the world of fine cuisine.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2012