Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
James Beard Foundation Award (2020) – Writing and Literature (finalist)
A groundbreaking, timely memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, from the James Beard-winning Top Chef star.
“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 sold drugs in New York and been shipped off to rural Nigeria to “learn respect.” He had launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars made from selling candy on the subway and starred on Top Chef. Through it all, Onwuachi’s love of food and cooking remained a constant, even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the food world can be for people of color. In this inspirational memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age; a powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest account of chasing your dreams—even when they don’t turn out as you expected.