“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.
Includes a PDF of recipes from the book.
“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.” —José Andrés
Customer ReviewsSee All
A must read
As much negativity as we endure on a daily basis without the encouragement to overcome those challenges, big or small, it’s always a breathe of fresh air for someone to whisper “keep going you got this” through their actions. Kwame took the time to explore all the different emotions through his life lessons and share them. I hope everyone who reads this takes something with them, but ultimately I hope through his words we all learn to forgive ourselves and the world around us and to never stop dreaming and believing in our dreams.
Pure Black Excellence 💪🏿
I hope to see a movie of this soon. Kwame’s story is more entertaining and inspiring then most fictional stories on the big screen 🌟🌟🌟
Favorite book of 2019!
Heartfelt lessons, Amazing and well-read by author! Favorite book of 2019!