Chef Memoirs

Raya here! Inspired by the stories from Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s PBS series No Passport Required, here are a few books that will guided me from dinners of canned veggies and precooked meals to a pretty decent cook. These books will inspire any novice cook to kick their culinary skills up a notch!

Of course I have to start with the man himself.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

The first time I read this book I became enamored with the idea of using fresh herbs in my cooking. Before I had heard of Chef Samuelsson, I was all about Gordon Ramsay. After having the pleasure of meeting the chef THREE TIMES he became my favorite.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

The (to me) mother of chef memoirs, Bourdain’s book inspired me to buy proper kitchen utensils. Written with a dryness that is part instruction part adventures in cooking, you’ll be ready to visit your local cooking class just to hone a skill or two.

My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir by Jessica B. Harris

I wish I had discovered Jessica Harris earlier. Most of the chefs I read about were men. Harris is raw in her memoir. She speaks candidly about her struggles of insecurity and is encouraging in her writing to help me learn to embrace ME. She also embodies my dream cafe (a place where people are themselves and enjoy good food) and the salons I have been unable to convince The Mister that we must host.

Cooked: My Journey From the Streets to the Stove by Jeff Henderson

Chef Jeff was the first story I read of a talented African American male chef. His story would be dismissed as a typical “poor boy makes good” but never once does he rely on this cliche. Instead, he speaks candidly about his incarceration and how this was the catalyst for his career. He also includes a mean fried chicken recipe!


These books can be found at wherever you buy books. I have been flipping between my Kindle and Scribd to reread all of these titles. Use my link for Scribd to hugest two months of listening and start today. Caution don’t read any of these titles hungry!

The disclosures: If you click on the links and purchase any of the titles, I will earn some affiliate income.

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