Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life

Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life

by Marcus Samuelsson, Veronica Chambers

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Overview

In this inspirational autobiography, world-famous chef and owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson tells his extraordinary story and encourages young people to embrace their mistakes and follow their dreams. Based on his highly praised adult memoir, Yes, Chef, this young adult edition includes an 8-page black-and-white family photo insert.

Marcus Samuelsson’s life and his journey to the top of the food world have been anything but typical. Orphaned in Ethiopia, he was adopted by a loving couple in Sweden, where his new grandmother taught him to cook and inspired in him a lifelong passion for food. In time, that passion would lead him to train and cook in some of the finest, most demanding kitchens in Europe.

Samuelsson’s talent and ambition eventually led him to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant in New York City: Red Rooster Harlem, a highly acclaimed, multicultural dining room, where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. A place where anyone can feel at home.

"'Step up to the challenge; don't avoid it. Win or lose, take the shot.' Samuelsson neatly serves up inspiration and food for thought."—Kirkus Reviews

"The perfect book for teen foodies and a great choice for others, thanks to its . . .  compelling story . . .  and sound advice."—VOYA

"A delightful read. . . .Samuelsson effectively connects his love of food to his personal journey."—School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"'Step up to the challenge; don't avoid it. Win or lose, take the shot.' Samuelsson neatly serves up inspiration and food for thought."—Kirkus Reviews

"The perfect book for teen foodies and a great choice for others, thanks to its . . .  compelling story . . .  and sound advice."—VOYA

"A delightful read. . . .Samuelsson effectively connects his love of food to his personal journey."—School Library Journal

"Samuelsson asserts . . . that three things have stood him in good stead: he is humble, he works hard, and he loves food. This smoothly written account, coauthored with [Veronica] Chambers, brings the drama of the kitchen to vivid and memorable life."—Booklist

School Library Journal

05/01/2015
Gr 8 Up—Aspiring chefs and fans of the Food Network will appreciate learning about the incredible journey of celebrity chef Samuelsson from this new edition of his autobiography Yes, Chef (Random, 2012), adapted for a teen audience. Samuelsson's perfectly imperfect life began in Ethiopia. An orphan whose parents died of tuberculosis, Samuelsson and his sister were adopted by a couple living in Sweden, where they thrived under the warmth and protection of their new parents. The Samuelssons instilled in him a strong work ethic, while his beloved grandmother nurtured his interest in food and cuisine. Devastated by his failure as a soccer player due to his slight weight and stature, Samuelsson instead decided to train as a chef. His incomparable work ethic would help him rise to the highest echelons of European cuisine, while a chance opportunity would elevate him to become the youngest chef ever to receive three stars from the New York Times. This new edition is a delightful read, and Samuelsson effectively connects his love of food to his personal journey. He is a clear and thoughtful storyteller, conveying his frustration about how his race made him an outsider. His refusal to quit amid adversity is admirable. In adjusting his book for teenage readers, however, Samuelsson leaves out many compelling chapters about his life, including the experience of meeting his biological family in Ethiopia and winning the covetous award for the best chef in the United States. VERDICT While this is an enjoyable memoir, libraries would be better served by purchasing Yes, Chef.—Maria Alegre, The Dalton School, New York

Kirkus Reviews

2015-02-16
Based on Yes, Chef (2012), a memoir for adults, this young readers' version offers insights into the life and food of one of America's top chefs. During a tuberculosis epidemic in 1972 in Ethiopia, Samuelsson's mother walked 75 miles with young Marcus on her back to a hospital in Addis Ababa. She died there, but he and his sister survived and were adopted by a Swedish couple. In clear and straightforward prose, less adorned than his recipes, Samuelsson chronicles growing up in Sweden, going to school, playing soccer, and working his way up the hierarchy in various restaurants on his way to becoming a chef. This is not exactly a linear "pursue your dream" story since Samuelsson originally had wanted to be a professional soccer player but was too small. Soccer went off the table, and food took its place. In adapting the adult memoir for young readers, the authors have adopted the motivational tone of a coach before the big game: "Step up to the challenge; don't avoid it. Win or lose, take the shot." But many young people have seen Samuelsson on television's Chopped and will be eager to learn about the journey that got him there. Now a world-renowned chef, Samuelsson neatly serves up inspiration and food for thought for the many young people interested in cooking. (Memoir. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385744003
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 251,775
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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Chapter 1
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Excerpted from "Make It Messy"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Marcus Samuelsson.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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