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Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

por Kwame Onwuachi

Outros autores: Joshua David Stein

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2731095,724 (3.81)10
Biography & Autobiography. Cooking & Food. Nonfiction. HTML:Kwame Onwuachis story shines a light on food and culture not just in American restaurants or African American communities but around the world. Questlove
By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had openedand closedone of the most talked about restaurants in America. He had sold drugs in New York and been shipped off to rural Nigeria to learn respect. He had launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars made from selling candy on the subway and starred on Top Chef.
Through it all, Onwuachis love of food and cooking remained a constant, even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the food world can be for people of color. In this inspirational memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age; a powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest account of chasing your dreamseven when they dont turn out as you expected.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
(I am using this book for my "A Book with X, Y, or Z in The Title" Category of Extreme Book Nerd.)

I say it all the time to people and in my reviews, but I am a sucker for food memoirs. They take me into a life that I will never know--that of being behind the line at a restaurant. I will never eat at a Michelin star restaurant (or let me put it this way, I highly doubt it). I will never travel to the full extent that some of these chefs have. I will never be on a reality TV cooking show. I also don't have their story, their history, their cultural heritage and identity that makes them, well, them. I have mine; I know how I have been influenced and what drives my cooking. I enjoy reading their stories.

I had never heard of Kwame Onwauchi before; I had not watched his season of Top Chef. But wow, for a guy my age, he has come so far. Growing up in the projects and feeling more support from gangs than his own father, Kwame has many a chef's story. He did drugs. He didn't have much going for him. He started in kitchens because he had to get a job. THEN he discovered a passion for cooking; a passion he had always had thanks to people in his life. He works at some of the most high profile restaurants: Per Se (A Thomas Keller) and Eleven Madison Park. Yet he has dreams for himself. He wants to share his story, his culture, through food.

I have been a recipient of "white privilege." I don't know what it is like for people to assume I'm just going to cook fried chicken and collard greens. I have never had someone tell me I'm not "Southern" enough because I'm black yet cook different types of food. Kwame has had experiences where people judge him based on the color of his skin. I find this wrong. He should be judged on the food he puts out. Frankly, I don't want African American chefs only cooking fried chicken (though I love me a good fried chicken). I want to try Kwame's Creole/African inspired food. Because when you are passionate about where you come from (as Kwame came to be), that food tastes infinitely better. Plus African food is an area where I need to expand my palate and my knowledge.

Kwame came off as a little....millennial...in the book. He did not always take credit for his failures. He even admitted that he had different personas that he can put on at certain times. However, I like the food behind the man. THAT is why this gets a five star review. ( )
  msgabbythelibrarian | Jun 11, 2023 |
4.5 stars. Good read! Includes recipes. I was amazed at how much he has already done at such a young age. He is totally ballsy! ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
The young adult version of this book by Kwame Onwuachi continues my amazement at how chefs put up so much in their training to become chefs. Onwuachi, in particular, had an amazing climb. Growing up in the Bronx, he became involved in gang activity and was kicked out of college for dealing drugs. But his mother, a caterer, was a fierce supporter of his abilities. She helped get him a job as a cook on a boat cleaning up after the oil spill in Louisiana, which led him to running a catering company and the realization he needed training and he attended the CIA and then a hell of a training period and hard won fame including appearing on Top Chef. If nothing else, kids reading the young adult version of the book, will discover, you can get out of the hole you created for yourself, but choosing a career as chef is a hard way to do it. ( )
  brangwinn | Apr 13, 2021 |
Raw and fiery, this book tells us of Onwuachi's story, growing up in New York and Nigeria, clawing his way to the top. His enthusiasm is infectious, his energy powerful and his determination gritty. The reader gets a sense that there are no secret - from his drug use to his failed restaurant - there is a willingness to lay everything bare. The ending is a bit crunchy: he does sound extremely conceited but isn't an unshakable faith a driver of success? I certainly applaud his vision and hope he will realise it.
A passionate tale, with recipes for the serious cook, which I definitely recommend. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Feb 6, 2021 |
I'm totally neutral on food writing, but this book is so good! Kwame has this young audacious confidence, but he doesn't shy away from writing about his abusive father, his college time drug dealing, the poor possibly racist treatment in the very few restaurants he ever worked in before opening one, and the quick demise of his first venture. The writing here is really solid and the story is interesting. I listened on audio and highly recommend it, but may buy a print copy just to put on my favorites shelf. And each chapter ends with a recipe. ( )
  KimMeyer | Sep 8, 2020 |
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Kwame Onwuachiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Stein, Joshua Davidautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Biography & Autobiography. Cooking & Food. Nonfiction. HTML:Kwame Onwuachis story shines a light on food and culture not just in American restaurants or African American communities but around the world. Questlove
By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had openedand closedone of the most talked about restaurants in America. He had sold drugs in New York and been shipped off to rural Nigeria to learn respect. He had launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars made from selling candy on the subway and starred on Top Chef.
Through it all, Onwuachis love of food and cooking remained a constant, even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the food world can be for people of color. In this inspirational memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age; a powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest account of chasing your dreamseven when they dont turn out as you expected.

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