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Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
"Kwame Onwuachi's 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 opened--and closed--one of the most talked about restaurants in America. He had launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars that he made from selling candy on the subway, yet he'd been told he would never make it on television because his cooking wasn't "Southern" enough. In this inspiring memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age. Growing up in the Bronx, as a boy Onwuachi was sent to rural Nigeria by his mother to "learn respect." However, the hard-won knowledge gained in Africa was not enough to keep him from the temptation and easy money of the streets when he returned home. But through food, he broke out of a dangerous downward spiral, embarking on a new beginning at the bottom of the culinary food chain as a chef on board a Deepwater Horizon cleanup ship, before going on to train in the kitchens of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country and appearing as a contestant on Top Chef. Onwuachi's love of food and cooking remained a constant throughout, even when he found the road to success riddled with potholes. As a young chef, he 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. A powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest story of chasing your dreams--even when they don't turn out as you expected--Notes from a Young Black Chef is one man's pursuit of his passions, despite the odds. "This is an astonishing and open-hearted story from one of the next generation's stars of the culinary world. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Chef Kwame--he is a phoenix, rising into better and better things and showing us all what it means to be humble, hungry, and daring." --Jos Andrs
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ReadingEnvy
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

"I come from a long line of restauranteurs, from a family whose roots were made of gravy and whose blood ran hot with pimentón." 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.

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ReadingEnvy
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi

"I come from a long line of restauranteurs, from a family whose roots were made of gravy and whose blood ran hot with pimentón."

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britt_brooke
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Through food, Kwame passionately, and honestly, unfurls his life story. His tumultuous upbringing resulted in several moves and you can taste the influences in his dishes. Maybe one day, I‘ll be fortunate enough to dine at one of his restaurants. I admire his confidence and drive to succeed in an industry that wanted him - a black chef - to fit a certain niche. Solid memoir. More than just food. Much more.

britt_brooke Thanks a bunch for passing this on to me, @ferskner ! (edited) 4w
Cinfhen Almost bought this on Audible/ still might xx great review 4w
britt_brooke @Cinfhen Thanks! 💚 PS. I went between this copy and audio from the library. He does a nice job narrating. 4w
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Anna40 I saw the author at Books in Bloom in Columbia. But missed most of the podium discussion and the book signing 😣 4w
britt_brooke @Anna40 Ah, what a bummer! 4w
ferskner Hooray!!! 4w
Reviewsbylola This is on my TBR. 3w
95 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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ShyBookOwl
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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It has taken me 2 weeks to finish this podcast episode because I keep pausing it for days at a time to immediately read books they discuss lol This includes the tagged book, which I'm thoroughly enjoying!

MrBook Great podcast! 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
ShyBookOwl @MrBook yes! Still working my way through the backlog, but I always make sure to listen to the newest ones asap 2mo
suvata That is one of my favorite podcasts 2mo
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ShyBookOwl @suvata mine too! 2mo
ljuliel Have you gone to the website and seen all the other recommendations people add in the comments ? Wow 😮. It‘d take longer than a couple weeks to read them all...maybe the rest of the year. Maybe sometime I‘ll go through and write them all down. 2mo
ShyBookOwl @ljuliel wow! No, I haven't done that. Sounds like a really fun, somewhat overwhelming, rabbit hole... 2mo
59 likes6 comments
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LauraBeth
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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One of the librarians at the library put this book in my hands and said I‘d love it.

Leftcoastzen 😻kitty tongue! 2mo
jesseastin Can‘t wait to hear what you think of it! 2mo
Johanna414 I love when that happens! They‘re usually right! 2mo
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LauraBeth @leftcoastzen that almost never happens with him! 😻 2mo
LauraBeth @jesseastin I'm on Chapter 4 and so far I really like it! 2mo
LauraBeth @johanna414 I trust librarians! You're correct - they're usually right! 2mo
cathipink I'm on the waiting list for the audio - curious to hear what you think! I enjoyed him on Top Chef 🙂🙂 2mo
LauraBeth @cathipink I completely missed his Top Chef season 🙀 so now I can‘t wait to watch it! 2mo
LeahBergen That little tongue. 😍 2mo
LauraBeth @LeahBergen he‘s the sweetest 😻 2mo
ValerieAndBooks Looks intriguing -- stacking! It's been a while since I've read a chef/foodie memoir!! 2mo
LauraBeth @ValerieAndBooks I had that exact same thought when she gave it to me! Seems like it‘s been a while since I read a chef/foodie memoir. 2mo
jmtrivera Oooh, I'm interested in your thoughts. My husband and I have been watching his season of Top Chef these past couple of weeks. He seems so driven. 2mo
106 likes4 stack adds13 comments
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cariashley
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I‘m a sucker for chef memoirs so I predictably enjoyed this quick listen. It stands out for tackling race and class issues in the restaurant industry, and more perspectives like this one are sorely needed.

jesseastin Would you recommend it as an audio book over a print copy? 2mo
cariashley @jesseastin yes! He does a great job narrating it himself, I definitely recommend audio. 2mo
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Susan
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Love chef memoirs.

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suzisteffen
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

Like a lot of chef memoirs, or at least the ones I‘ve read, this one flips between being self-aggrandizing and self-effacing, but with so much external political weight on the story of a young Black chef who definitely here gets a few of his own digs back at those who have harmed him over the years, including his terrible father. Good, alarming, fascinating, with super recipes and definitely a fresh look at the lives of chefs. 3.5⭐️

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suzisteffen
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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“To whom [should I] have been paying dues? It seems like the only ones keeping track are the white guys w/tall hats. & how did those guys get into the club? By paying dues to even older white guys with even taller hats. As for the thousands of black & brown chefs—dubbed cooks, domestics, servants, boys, & mammies who were kept out of restaurant kitchens or overlooked w/in them—they were beyond consideration. Their work, like them, was invisible.⬇️

suzisteffen “Invisible men and invisible women cooking invisible food for invisible children. So I get that it must be confusing for those who criticize me as an ingrate upstart—how can I pay dues to people who don‘t exist?” 5mo
15 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Next in #memoir this month!

20 likes1 stack add
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ferskner
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I LOVE culinary memoirs (culinary anything, really), but this is something beyond the typical chef's story. The author asks hard questions about race, class, ageism, pride, and what constitutes a success story. If you're interested in the food world, this is a must read.

#mmdchallenge #bookaboutatopicthatfascinatesyou #litsyatoz @BookishMarginalia

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Bookjunkie57
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I was hungry this whole book 🤣🤣 #BlameItOnLitsy
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Bookjunkie57
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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I was a complete lazy lump today and got almost no reading done. I fear tomorrow won‘t be much better as I‘m exhausted and have a fundraiser to work.

#24B4Monday

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Bookjunkie57
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi

My first deviation from my #24B4Monday stack.

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SarahSaysRead
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I listened to this on my drive to D.C. this weekend, and then went to his restaurant on Sunday! His book is as great as his food. Those braised oxtails, mmmmmm... 🖤

#memoir #food #DC #audiobook #cooking

BarbaraTheBibliophage I heard him speak on Saturday. He‘s just as genuine as he seems on TV. Can‘t wait to read his book! 6mo
26 likes1 comment
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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We loved Chef Kwame Onwuachi on Top Chef, and I‘ve heard good things about his book. The conversation he had with Dr. Michele L. Simms-Burton was wide-ranging and honest. He talked about being a young chef, a Black chef, and about his decision to go to The Culinary Institute Of America. Plus, how he paid for it by catering. He‘s an up and comer that I hope can stay strong in the food scene. Now I MUST read his book! #gburgbookfest

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howjessreads
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I love a good chef memoir. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This one has an interesting side of social justice too — with Kwame's notes on how his race influenced his experiences in kitchens (and in childhood). I think the only other black chef's memoir I've read is Marcus Samuelsson's "Yes Chef". I tried Michael Twitty's “The Cooking Gene”, but struggled to get into it, and ultimately didn't finish it.
Can anyone recommend any others? #howjessreadsin2019

71 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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Christine
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. My husband and I loved Kwame on Top Chef, but I didn‘t know much about his younger years (complicated and fascinating) or his post-show DC restaurant career (same modifiers apply). I was impressed by his insights about identity and ambition, and even more so by his frankness about racism and discrimination in his industry (and he most definitely named names). I fully recommend the audio.

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kbuggle
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Pickpick

I first learned about Kwame on his season of Top Chef, and when I heard he had a book coming, I knew I wanted to hear more about his history, background, and point of view. Kwame narrates his own story on audio, and does a fantastic job.

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ferskner
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Finally, a book finished! I'm not sure why he has two heads on my Kindle. #readathon @DeweysReadathon

83 likes2 stack adds
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ferskner
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir | Joshua David Stein, Kwame Onwuachi
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Not so much a snack, but this mutter paneer was fabulous. #RATbooksnack @Bookgoil #readathon

Bookgoil Looks divine! 7mo
Tamra Seriously tasty looking 7mo
82 likes2 comments