|Yes, Chef Author Dinner with Chefs Hopkins and Samuelsson|
From the moment I learned of Chef Marcus Samuelsson's plans to publish his memoir (about two months or so prior to the release date), I was eager to dive into the life journey of the ever-inspiring and dynamic chef. Yes, Chef: A Memoir hit the market on June 26th and, thanks to a pre-order sale, I had my copy in hand a day later. My anticipation had steadily risen as I took in select excerpts and interviews by the Chef/Author, but nothing prepared me for the truly engaging and heartfelt story that I would encounter between the covers of this book.
A tale of life in its fullness--chronicling family, food, sacrifice, triumph, failure and renewal--this memoir delivered more than just an inside look into the demanding, often brutal, world of food and fine dining, but, more significantly, it shared, in very personal terms, the astounding journey of Chef Samuelsson. A journey that, at times, seemed equally impossible and probable, giving a face and pulse to the universal experience of pursuing a dream and passion, with all the joys and pitfalls that accompany such noble pursuits.
So when the Yes, Chef book tour landed in Atlanta via the sold out Author Dinner at Restaurant Eugene, hosted by James Beard Award Winning Chef, Linton Hopkins, on this past Monday night, I was eager to see, hear and taste. To see the camaraderie and fusion of two culinary masterminds who are devoted to their craft and communities. To hear from Chef Samuelsson about anything and everything that has impacted his remarkable journey to date. And to taste the flavors of Sweden, Ethiopia and America beautifully mastered by Chefs Samuelsson and Hopkins. And what I actually saw, heard and tasted--experienced--went far beyond.
|The Dessert Course: A Land of Honey|
I had the privilege of being seated at Chef Samuelsson's table, along with two other guests, and we reveled in the "up close and personal" benefit of talking with him about everything from family reunions, to his mentor, Leah Chase, to the thrust of Red Rooster Harlem, to his visit earlier in the day with young teens and aspiring chefs at the Atlanta City Council, and much more besides. But we didn't keep him all to ourselves. In between courses the Chef made rounds to visit with the guests at other tables and have similar exchanges.
Breaking bread with culinary greats, meeting new people who share my passion for food and cooking, taking in an exceptional meal in a beautiful restaurant, and creating lasting memories rarely occur all at once, but that night they did.
|My autographed book and menu (keepsakes!)|
Thanks to Restaurant Eugene, Chef Hopkins and, of course, Chef Samuelsson, for a foodie night to remember!