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From Louisiana to the Bronx, from Nigeria and to the Culinary Institute, landing in Washington D C this young man has learned to cook his own story, his own culture A childhood filled with abuse from his father, support and love from his mother, to his grandfather in Nigeria, who taught him that his ancestors would always be part of him Selling drugs in college, then cooking for some of the best restaurants to competing Top Chef, he has pulled himself together and fought for a life of which From Louisiana to the Bronx, from Nigeria and to the Culinary Institute, landing in Washington D C this young man has learned to cook his own story, his own culture A childhood filled with abuse from his father, support and love from his mother, to his grandfather in Nigeria, who taught him that his ancestors would always be part of him Selling drugs in college, then cooking for some of the best restaurants to competing Top Chef, he has pulled himself together and fought for a life of which he could be proud As I was reading this I was thinking to myself, How many different lives he has lived He has fought for recognition, struggled to change the opinions of those who thought a Black Chef shouldn t be in fine dining.I enjoy cooking, and this book contains reckless, or a pdf file for those like myself, who listened The food mentioned here was such a variety, some down home easier meals to recipes and ingredients of which I had never heard I fell into his story, sympathized with him during his struggles, felt sad for the young boy who was abused His first foray into running his own restaurant was not successful due to many circumstances out of his control but I hope his future endeavors will besuccessful.He reads his own story and it was impactful to hear his own story in his own voice Some readers may find his words, the anger behind them at times, arrogant or agressive I though understood and think he needed and still needs these qualities to survive and thrive You may recognize Kwame Onwuachi s name from his stint on Top Chef But before that, he started his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars he made selling candy on the subway in NYC and worked in notable restaurants across the country By age 27, not only had he competed on Top Chef, he served dinner to Present Obama at the White House and closed his fine dining restaurant shortly after opening it He s honest about his mistakes but he also delves into the racism he s experienced in t You may recognize Kwame Onwuachi s name from his stint on Top Chef But before that, he started his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars he made selling candy on the subway in NYC and worked in notable restaurants across the country By age 27, not only had he competed on Top Chef, he served dinner to Present Obama at the White House and closed his fine dining restaurant shortly after opening it He s honest about his mistakes but he also delves into the racism he s experienced in the various kitchens he s worked in His voice is a welcome addition to the food memoir canon Cooking has always been a passion of mine, so when my co moderator at the nonfiction book club mentioned that she wanted to read a new memoir by an up and coming top chef, I decided to join her Notes From a Young Black Chef came at a good time for me as this year celebrity memoirs have become my go to genre in between denser reads Reading this story that is dubbed as rags to riches but is a really one of a person of color breaking through a glass ceiling in his field, one can not help but be c Cooking has always been a passion of mine, so when my co moderator at the nonfiction book club mentioned that she wanted to read a new memoir by an up and coming top chef, I decided to join her Notes From a Young Black Chef came at a good time for me as this year celebrity memoirs have become my go to genre in between denser reads Reading this story that is dubbed as rags to riches but is a really one of a person of color breaking through a glass ceiling in his field, one can not help but be captivated by Kwame Onwuachi s life Kwame Onwuachi was born in November 1989 in the Bronx, New York to parents Patrick and Jewel What was supposed to be two souls passing in the night became a forced marriage of two distinct people and cultures Jewel hailed from Louisiana by way of Texas and always enjoyed cooking Her food held the distinct flavors of creole, Cajun, Deep South, and a melding of spices Learning from her mother Cassie and stepfather Winston, Jewel Robinson thrived in the kitchen and became an executive caterer Although low on money in between jobs, her cooking was a labor of love and she passed this on to her children Tatiana and Kwame, who both helped her with catering jobs from early ages Kwame eventually became a top chef, yet Tatiana prepares award winning cheese cake, always a winner in my book It is through women that Kwame learned to put his soul into his food preparation, and this has remained true through his short life Although Kwame s parents divorced when he was young and his father was abusive, he learned about his ancestry through his father s Nigerian roots When his mother believed that life on the New York streets was becoming to tough for Kwame, she sent him to live with his grandparents in Ibusa, Nigeria It is there that Kwame learned about efusi stew and the origins of his ancestry His grandfather is a scholar of the Pan African movement who obtained a PhD from American universities but chose to return to his roots Running a compound in a rural community, he showed Kwame among other things how to sacrifice a chicken to the ancestors and to show them respect It is this lesson that he broughtthan anything else upon his return to the United States After a series of bad breaks, Jewel moved her catering business to New Orleans and Kwame decided to follow in her footsteps People of color comprise a sliver of prominent chefs in the United States and a series of chance meetings landed Kwame catering jobs and a slot in the Culinary Institute Of America I thought I cooked gourmet style until I read the descriptions of the school and the high end kitchens where Kwame worked Each meal is a production and a work of art requiring a team of 10 20 dedicated chefs Despite finding few mentors who look like him in top kitchens, Kwame has landed positions in the upper echelons of New York restaurants There, he was met with the same racial slurs and silent abuses that he faced while working at a barbecue joint in Louisiana Sadly, other than distinctly ethnic restaurants, few chefs of color are in the position to mentor up and coming cooks like Kwame and his ideas appear to be cutting edge He, to his credit, has not let the racist remarks push out of the industry, and at the time of publication, has opened five high end restaurants and been named to a who s who of Americans under age 30 Notes From a Young Black Chef are full of anecdotes of perseverance and recipes I would have preferredin depth writing and found out what Kwame is doing now rather than reading about his current profession on the back jacket cover Then again, not every book can be a literary masterpiece I did enjoy reading about the workings of Culinary Institute and of high end restaurants People are always telling me to open a restaurant and I can use this as proof that is a lot of work Yet, Kwame has prevailed and finding his own space among top chefs It will be intriguing to see where he is in ten years and if he has carved a space among the best of the best American chefs 3.5 stars Rating 4.5I had no idea who Kwame Onwuachi is and had no knowledge of this book While browsing my library for new audio books I came across this one To be honest, I grabbed it just based on the title It had the word chef in it I figured I could hear about the lifestyle of a chef andimportantly food I m a sucker for any foodie book So I grabbed it and jumped in with no expectations.This one tells the life story of twenty seven year old Kwame Onwuachi I know, I knowI thought the Rating 4.5I had no idea who Kwame Onwuachi is and had no knowledge of this book While browsing my library for new audio books I came across this one To be honest, I grabbed it just based on the title It had the word chef in it I figured I could hear about the lifestyle of a chef andimportantly food I m a sucker for any foodie book So I grabbed it and jumped in with no expectations.This one tells the life story of twenty seven year old Kwame Onwuachi I know, I knowI thought the same thing 27 and writing his memoir, what can he possibly talk about But the author begins to tell the story of his life from a very young child to where he is right now, opening a fine dining restaurant in DC One of the most talked about, and most expensive restaurants, under high profile circumstances, realizing his dream, to the ultimate closure of that restaurant3 months after opening He details about major events in his life that shaped him, the food in his life and how that played a part of where he is today Butimportant, his drive and determination Yeah, not all his choices were great, but whose are I loved the story of his upbringing, the stories of his life being sent to Nigeria to live to learn respect but learning so much about food and his heritage, selling candy bars in the NYC subway to make money for his startup business, his time at the CIA Culinary Institute of America and working in various kitchens either across NYC or in the South And man, he can talk about food too.Obviously I really enjoyed this one It s funny as twice I shut it off in the beginning saying nope, don t like it But I knew I had to give it a bit of time The author narrates the audio himself At first, I thought he talked too fast but I grew to like the voice and narration Does he appear arrogant I really didn t think so He s proud of where he came from, where he s at, and he s confident I found this one fascinating I couldn t care about his time on Top Chef I don t watch that show, too much fake drama and not enough food It s such a small part of this story My only issue, hence only 4.5, I could have done without political jabs, and I think it ended a bit too abruptly I wanted to hearOverall, so glad I read this one A must for anyone into food, into hearing about what it s like to work as a chef, or if you just want to hear a great story With the exception of Malala Yousafzai, who has livedin 21 years than many people will live in a lifetime and has a Nobel Prize to prove it, I m not sure anyone under 30 really has enough self knowledge of life experience to write a memoir I realize the same could be said of many people over 30 who have written memoirs, too Onwuachi certainly knows how to market himself He admits in the book that he puts on different personas for different audiences, so the reader can only ask Which With the exception of Malala Yousafzai, who has livedin 21 years than many people will live in a lifetime and has a Nobel Prize to prove it, I m not sure anyone under 30 really has enough self knowledge of life experience to write a memoir I realize the same could be said of many people over 30 who have written memoirs, too Onwuachi certainly knows how to market himself He admits in the book that he puts on different personas for different audiences, so the reader can only ask Which one are we getting here I suspect we re getting whichever one he thinks will generate the most buzz and biggest payoff Question why would someone who was a gifted student and wrote essays skillfully enough to win culinary grants need a co author to tell his own story anyway Onwuachi seems farinvested in being a brand and being flashy than in anything else For his wins, he is quick to take credit For his stumbles, he is even quicker to find excuses He seems fixated on luxury and appearances He or his co author it s hard to tell who is driving this bus is quick to tell us about his designer shoes or how someone allegedly was impressed with his fine wool suit He mentions going to the best restaurants, by which he means the most expensive, but we get zero details on the meals he ate Were any memorable for him beyond the bragging rights of eating at a known and expensive place He goes on and on about how, when planning for his first restaurant, he had to have luxurious and custom made doors, plates, chairs, etc He agonized for months about the lighting fixtures Funny thing though he never says much about food except a few bland lines that felt phoned in and a few quotes from other people praising his cooking which seem to be thrown in to convince us that other people think he s brilliant rather than to tell us anything about the food Onwauchi is keen to emphasize the rarity or cost of an ingredient, but he never says much about its smell, taste, texture, history, etc It s all about the image, never about the flavor or the craft He s farabout the celebrity than the chef He presents as shallow and self absorbed, quick to take offense and quick to claim entitlement He may be talented, and he may be smart however, he s not very likable he comes off as insincere and drunk off his own bathwater I think the part where he completely lost me is that he mentions many times how his mother and later his half sister continually struggled to make ends meet, and yet while he fills his closet with Prada and Armani clothes bought when he made thousands a week dealing drugs, not once does he mention helping either of them with some cold, hard cash If he ever did, you know he would have written in into the book because that would make him look good, and he s all into looking good But then, broke because he blew all his hard earned cash on designer clothes and partying, he turned around and convinced his mother to drain her meager savings account to subsidize his culinary school tuition I guess it was her money and her decision, but that is some serious entitlement When his father goaded him by saying Why don t you just go back to selling drugs Onwuachi suddenly developed scruples and got offended Yeah, it was hardly great parental advice, but I can t help but wonder if what his father really meant was, Oh, OK, so when you were flush, you screwed around and wasted your resources, and now you come around asking for handouts because suddenly something is important to you His dad sounds like a major jerk although we re only getting one side of the story but you can t expect to sever a relationship, even with good reason, and still make a claim on the other person s wallet When Onwuachi finally gets around to talking about being a chef, he talks about creating an autobiography through menuat the ripe old age of 26 Then he complains that people call him pretentious Wellyeah That s pretentious To have an autobiography that means anything to other people, you have to have experienced something outside yourself Maybe, if he s still around in a decade or two, he ll have something to say that is worth reading Right now, he s just not nearly as interesting or unique as he thinks he is This looks really interesting I didn t know there was much prejudice among chefs I would have thought that was counter productive A restaurant wants to make money, the one who cooks the best food is going to be a main reason people come to eat there Perhaps I am too influenced by living in the Caribbean where if a restaurant or hotel doesn t have a black chef is usually because they are looking for one who cooks a particular cuisine Or it s one that closes out of tourist season and so is This looks really interesting I didn t know there was much prejudice among chefs I would have thought that was counter productive A restaurant wants to make money, the one who cooks the best food is going to be a main reason people come to eat there Perhaps I am too influenced by living in the Caribbean where if a restaurant or hotel doesn t have a black chef is usually because they are looking for one who cooks a particular cuisine Or it s one that closes out of tourist season and so is only going to attract those looking for short term contracts and an opportunity to live the island life and go sailing Am I biased MAYBE, but so what We don t get many black chef memoirs and I gobbled this up like I was a hungry bear The story was wonderful, tantalizing, a filling course of the best foods and I tell you I still wantIt s funny how I was reading two very different stories by two very different men named KwameThis particular memoir is not your Normal rags to riches but rather a gathering of life s lessons to become someone and something that was kind of unfathomable a freakin c Am I biased MAYBE, but so what We don t get many black chef memoirs and I gobbled this up like I was a hungry bear The story was wonderful, tantalizing, a filling course of the best foods and I tell you I still wantIt s funny how I was reading two very different stories by two very different men named KwameThis particular memoir is not your Normal rags to riches but rather a gathering of life s lessons to become someone and something that was kind of unfathomable a freakin chef And it didn t take long for him to find his niche I am compelled to travel to DC to go to his restaurant, see the African American Museum and come back to my Coast all in a weekend I was literally on the edge of my seat thinking this can t be how the story plays out and thankfully it did not, I am evenconvinced that our journeys are ours and ours alone and what is meant for you will be there waiting for you when YOU are ready Overall a wonderful book and shout out to his moms some moms really don t get enough credit TAKE THE JOURNEY WITH KWAME, I m glad I did *Download Pdf ↜ Notes from a Young Black Chef ↯ By the time he was twenty seven, Kwame Onwuachi had competed on Top Chef, cooked at the White House, and opened and closed one of the most talked about restaurants in America In this memoir, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming of age Growing up in the Bronx and Nigeria where he was sent by his mother to learn respect , food was Onwuachi s great love He launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars he made selling candy on the subway, and trained in the kitchens of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country But the road to success is riddled with potholes As a young chef, Onwuachi was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the world of fine dining can be for people of color, and his first restaurant, the culmination of years of planning, shuttered just months after opening Notes from a Young Black Chef is one man s pursuit of his passions, despite the odds I first learned of Kwame Onwuachi when I saw him on Top Chef several years ago He was one of my favorite contestants that season Despite being a pretty terrible cook, I absolutely love the show and have been a die hard fan for years Notes from a Young Black Chef is Kwame s memoir detailing his rise in the culinary world and the lessons he s learned along the way He s only 30 but has experienced a lot in life already Kwame grew up in New York and briefly spent time in Nigeria with his grand I first learned of Kwame Onwuachi when I saw him on Top Chef several years ago He was one of my favorite contestants that season Despite being a pretty terrible cook, I absolutely love the show and have been a die hard fan for years Notes from a Young Black Chef is Kwame s memoir detailing his rise in the culinary world and the lessons he s learned along the way He s only 30 but has experienced a lot in life already Kwame grew up in New York and briefly spent time in Nigeria with his grandfather He also spent time later living with his mom down in Louisiana His mom had a catering business, he grew up enjoying the show Iron Chef, and eventually started his own catering company While he endured a lot in his personal life and had many obstacles to overcome, including financial challenges and a tough childhood, Kwame didn t always make responsible decisions either, even when he was old enough to know better Unfortunately, he s also experienced racism in the culinary world In addition to Top Chef, Kwame cooked for the crews involved in the Deepwater Horizon spill, held positions in a few high end restaurants, and had his own fine dining restaurant in Washington D.C., though sadly, this was a short stint as it closed just a few months after opening With a resume this varied at just 30 years old, Kwame has accomplished a lot I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Kwame himself While I think his confidence is warranted, there were multiple points where I felt he came off as arrogant, yet some of his experiences also seemed to humble him Overall I enjoyed Notes from a Young Black Chef and found Kwame s story interesting I come from a long line of restauranteurs, from a family whose roots were made of gravy and whose blood ran hot with piment n I enjoyed Kwame s memoir and he s still very young and has many successes and breathless leaps ahead of him I had no idea how varied his experiences were and how much he had done even before Top Chef I hope to eat in one of his restaurants eventually, especially if he stays in DC.