Speaking Event: Marcus Samuelsson "Yes, Chef, A Memoir"
Hosted by Gaetano Kazuo Maida
“Yes, Chef” chronicles Samuelsson’s incredible journey from being orphaned at agethree, and battling tuberculosis in Ethiopia to being adopted by a loving family in Sweden to finding work in some of the most demanding restaurants in Switzerland and France. Then came grueling stints on cruise ships and, ultimately, his arrival in New York City, where at Aquavit he earned a coveted three-star rating from the New York Times at the age of 24, making him the youngest chef ever to receive such an accolade. But his career of “chasing flavors” as he calls it, had only just begun. In intervening years there have been White House State dinners, personal crises, public failures, reality show triumphs, and the opening of his beloved, internationally famous Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem., where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians , athletes, artists, bus drivers and nurses.
“I’ve read a lot of chef’s books, but never anything like this one. Maarcus has had such an interesting life, and he talks about it with touching modesty and remarkable candor. I couldn’t put this book down.”
— Ruth Reichl
“The Red Rooster’s arrival in Harlem brought with it a chef who has re-invigorated and re-imagined what it means to be American. In his famed dishes, and now in this memoir, Marcus Samuelsson tells a story that reaches past racial and national divides to the foundations of family hope, and downright good food.”
—President Bill Clinton
Marcus Samuelsson is a James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and author of several cookbooks. He has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, the TODAY Show, Iron Chef, and other food shows.
Gaetano Kazuo Maida currently serves as executive director of two Berkeley nonprofits - Buddhist Film Foundation and Tea Arts Institute. He has been involved with restaurants as principal and consultant for over 40 years. He is also an award- winning filmmaker, and has been active in book and magazine publishing on both coasts.