Marcus Samuelsson

Flavorful reading from the chef's shelves -- and kitchen.



Orphaned in Ethiopia, adopted by Swedish parents, Marcus Samuelsson's path to success as executive chef at Aquavit and owner of Red Rooster Harlem is one of the most unlikely stories in all of food. He recounts the remarkable trajectory of his life and career in his new memoir, Yes, Chef. This week, Samuelsson recommends three books brimming with flavor.


Books by Marcus Samuelsson




Blood, Bones & Butter

By Gabrielle Hamilton


"It was such a beautiful kitchen tale that inspired me a lot while I was writing Yes, Chef. I liked her storytelling and, as a chef, you're constantly inspired to know how others did it. To be able to read her story and understand her journey about how she did it was compelling -- we cook in the same city but her path was so different. It was also great to read a woman's perspective on rising through the chef ranks."



Dawoud Bey: Harlem, U.S.A.

Edited by Matthew S. Witkovsky


"When I started with Rooster, it was images like these that helped keep me honest and helped me understand the place I'm at. The dignity and pride these Harlemites had before me and still have today -- that's what we want to carry here at the restaurant and hopefully that's what our guests are feeling when they're in our dining room."



Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

By Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet


"This is a completely game-changing book in terms of the intersection between technology and American modern cooking. Ten to fifteen years from now it will still be relevant and we'll continue to learn from it."

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.