I liked Marcus Samuelsson's biography, Yes Chef, and it was much better than I thought it was going to be. ( I had higher expectations for Gabrille Hamilton's biography because of her writing background, but I ended up liking Yes Chef more).
I thought Yes Chef was a successful food biography because:
1) It had an interesting narrative with Samuelsson's life story about being born in Ethopia, losing his mother to TB, getting adopted by a white Swedish couple and moving to Sweden where he grows up and learns to cook Swedish food from his Swedish grandmother, and then working in kitchens across the world before settling down in NYC where he became the youngest chef to win three stars from the NY Times.
2) While Samuelsson is obviously proud of his accomplishments, this wasn't just a haliographic biography that only highlighted the best of what happened to Samuelsson. In the biography, he's also willing to show his warts, flaws, and failures.
Most noticeably, when nobody when have known otherwise if he hadn't written about it, he talks about how he has a kid from a one night stand. And, when he discovered that, he wanted to basically abandon his child and not even pay child support before his parents stepped in and forced him, kicking and screaming, to financially support his child. Even then, he had never visited or had anything to do with his kid until only very recently.
3) It also talks about his ideas about food and how to run a restaurant, as well as the development of his signature dishes.
So, I was surprised that when Eddie Huang reviewed Samuelsson's book, he really went after Marcus Samuelsson:
So, then Samuelsson responds by calling that piece 'garbage' and 'trash'.
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