This inspiring memoir, now adapted for young adults, chronicles Top Chef star and Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 phenom Kwame Onwuachi's incredible and odds-defying fame in the food world after a tough childhood in the Bronx and Nigeria.
Food was Kwame Onwuachi's first great love. He connected to cooking via his mother, in the family's modest Bronx apartment. From that spark, 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. He faced many challenges on the road to success, including breaking free of a dangerous downward spiral due to temptation and easy money, and grappling with just how unwelcoming the world of fine dining can be for people of color.
Born on Long Island and raised in New York City, Nigeria, and Louisiana, Kwame Onwuachi's incredible story is one of survival and ingenuity in the face of adversity.
Praise for the adult edition of NOTES FROM A YOUNG BLACK CHEF
"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
"Fierce and inspiring. . . . This rip-roaring tale of ambition is also a sobering account of racism in and out of the food industry." --New York Tiimes Book Review
Kwame Onwuachi is the James Beard Award-winning executive chef at Kith/Kin in Washington, D.C. He was born on Long Island and raised in New York City, Nigeria, and Louisiana. Onwuachi trained at the Culinary Institute of America and opened five restaurants before turning thirty. A former Top Chef contestant, he has been named Esquire’s Chef of the Year, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes.
JOSHUA DAVID STEIN is a Brooklyn-based author and journalist. He was a restaurant critic for The New York Observer and has been a food columnist for The Village Voice.
Praise for Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults):
“Enough sizzle, color, and character to entice young readers.” —Kirkus Reviews
"An inspirational and true story that ends not with our YA protagonist getting everything he wanted, but with a real person experiencing loss and continuing to persevere.” —Shelf Awareness
“Onwuachi’s Top Chef followers and fans will . . . enjoy this frenetic account of a young Black man’s determination to create ‘a fine-dining, modern American, globally influenced restaurant that tells my life story through food.’” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[Onwuachi] candidly declares how the weight of the trials he experienced impacted his story and fortified his culinary dreams, with an intensive reflection of family roots, aspirations, and expectations.” —School Library Journal
“This adaptation for young readers effectively prunes and tightens sentences, removes swear words, and takes out the recipes (as étouffée, chicken consommé, corn velouté, and egusi stew might not be big draws for young palates). While Onwuachi notes the challenges of being a Black chef in a white food culture, his dream is to see kitchens full of “white, yellow, brown, and black faces” and restaurants full of “brown and black diners, who, looking at their plates, feel seen, celebrated, and recognized.” —The Horn Book