"Stay invisible unless you're going to shine," is just one piece of kitchen advice from Marcus Samuelsson in his new memoir, "Yes, Chef." Samuelsson has always shined in restaurants, most notably at Aquavit in Manhattan. While cooking there he became the youngest chef to receive a three-star rating from The New York Times. He has also received a James Beard nod as Best Chef in New York City, and prepared the meal for President Obama's first State Dinner. Marcus is currently chef/owner of NYC's Red Rooster Harlem and Ginny's Supper Club.
Not bad for someone who was born into poverty in Ethiopia, was stricken with tuberculosis at age two, and after his mother's death was left orphaned along with his sister (the two would be later be adopted by a middle class family in Sweden). It's an amazing story, and come next Thursday, July 26th, Mr. Samuelsson will be in Miami to tell it.
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The first stop will be at Whole Foods Market in Coral Gables (noon to 2 p.m.), where the chef will conduct a book signing. Then, at 7 p.m., Samuelsson will be at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink where he'll join Michael Schwartz, Bradley Herron and Hedy Goldsmith in creating a wine-paired dinner (the wine portion conducted by MGFD's wine director Eric Larkee). The dinner will segue from passed snacks to a four-course family-style meal that will include items such as chickpea fritters with spicy pickled mango and yogurt, and Berber-braised beef with flatbread and accompaniments.
Purchase price is $150, which also includes tax, gratuity and a signed copy of Yes, Chef. Short Order will be there to cover the event; if you're into great food, you will be too. And you will also pick up this book if you want to read a riveting, food-and-restaurant driven story about a chef whose rise through the culinary ranks includes a lot more than getting berated at culinary school. (Like grueling stints on cruise ships and the barriers of race: "A hundred years ago, black men and women had to fight to get out of the kitchen. These days, we have to fight to get in.")