Notes from a Young Black Chef

Award-winning chef and author Kwame Onwuachi talks about his setbacks and successes in the exclusive fine dining industry.
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Kwame Onwuachi appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to tell the story of how he went from selling drugs to opening his own fine dining restaurant in Washington, D.C.

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  • Notes from a Young Black Chef

    In his engaging, spirited talks, Kwame Onwuachi shares his heartfelt journey of overcoming violence, financial precarity, and racism to become one of the only black chefs in fine dining. He speaks to the power of food to teach, inspire, and transform and advocates for diversity and opportunities for people of color in all industries, especially his own. 

Notes from a Young Black Chef

Notes from a Young Black Chef
by Kwame Onwuachi

“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

In this inspiring memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, Kwame Onwauchi shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age. Through food, he broke out of a dangerous downward spiral of temptation and easy money and embarked on a new beginning at the bottom of the culinary food chain. He rose from a chef on board a Deepwater Horizon cleanup ship to training in the kitchens of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country and appearing as a contestant on Top Chef. By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Onwuachi had launched his own catering company, opened (and closed) one of the most talked about restaurants in America,and won the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Notes from a Young Black Chef is one man’s pursuit of his passions, despite the odds.

Available in paperback, hardcover, eBook, audiobook
April 9, 2019; 288 pages

Notes from a Young Black Chef

Fierce and inspiring.

The New York Times Book Review

A fascinating book. . . . I hope everybody reads it.

—Trevor Noah, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Onwuachi’s memoir should be required reading, not just for future chefs, but for anyone who wants a glimpse into one man’s tale of what it’s like to be young, black and ambitious in America.

The Washington Post

Notes from a Young Black Chef might be the literary heir to Kitchen Confidential. . . . With the same mix of brutal honesty, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and atmosphere-conjuring prose. But Onwuachi’s story is completely his own.

Entertainment Weekly

With Notes From a Young Black Chef, Kwame Onwuachi proves that 29 isn’t too young to write a memoir.

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