Make It Messy

My Perfectly Imperfect Life

This inspirational and fascinating non-fiction book provides a look at the obstacles that this talented chef had to overcome and depicts a far more productive response to negativity than the acts that seem to permeate the headlines today. The poignant description of his origins, the remarkable fortune that brings him and his sister to a family that appreciated them for who they were and allowed them to integrate into a new culture without losing connection to their heritage, and the events that honed him into the man he has become are all sensitively and vividly conveyed in a compelling narrative.

Although I ache at the bullying and prejudice that were part of the crucible that formed his character, I cheer at the unwavering support he received from those who were important in his life and I cannot help but be impressed at and inspired by his drive, humility and compassion. I had long admired his style and mentorship when I became familiar with him through a television show he appears on but had no idea of the journey he had taken to reach the pinnacle he has.

This book is even more fascinating to me because it displays his passion for cooking (and soccer, lol) and encourages each of us who dabbles in the kitchen to absorb lessons taught by those adept in the art yet make their recipes our own by adding our unique spin—whether encouraged or not, lessons that can be applied to life in general. I think his dedication says it all…”This is to the chefs and mentors I had along the way who gave me a chance. And to those who didn’t give me a chance and made me prove I could do it.” Marcus Samuelsson reminds us that hard work, a thirst for knowledge, and appreciation for each person’s worth, no matter how humble he or she seems at first glance, can only make the world a better place.

“Make it Messy” by Marcus Samuelsson with the assistance of Veronica Chambers is a memoir detailing the talented chef’s background and provides glimpses of the journey that brought him to such remarkable achievements as such a young age. The tragic circumstances that result in his integration into a very different culture, his love affair with soccer, and his path to the culinary accolades he has achieved at such a young age are all chronicled with glimpses of the challenges and setbacks that formed him into the highly respected and inspirational man he has become who reminds us all to dream bigger.


Book Blurb for Make It Messy

In this inspirational autobiography, world-famous chef 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.


Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2015 4.50