Marcus Samuelsson is a renowned Ethiopian-Swedish chef and restauranteur who, among other accolades, was the guest chef for Barack Obama’s first state dinner at the White House in 2009. After his mother passed away during a tuberculosis epidemic in Ethiopia when he was 3, Samuelsson and his sister were adopted by a middle-class family in Sweden, where his love affair with food truly began. Yes, Chef: A Memoir is Samuelsson’s ode to food, a personal discovery of how one meal can form friendships, heal broken hearts, and spark creativity. As a kid, Samuelsson found inspiration watching his grandmother chop fresh vegetables and grind spices. After realizing he’d never become a famous soccer player, Samuelsson applied to a vocational high school specializing in cooking. Culinary school inspired a life of adventure, allowing him to travel across the world on a constant drive for unique flavor. Samuelsson’s memoir will make you hungry, of course, but it will also inspire you to chase your dreams tirelessly. His writing is funny, welcoming, and accessible. Yes, Chef will have you asking for seconds.
Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Margaret lives in the Twin Cities with her husband who bakes bread, and dog that occasionally eats books.