I am known among friends, colleagues and family for being a slave to hyperbole. I like to think I am master, but it always gets the better of me. When I love something you will have no doubt about it; and the inverse is true. I will use the strongest words to convey my admiration or displeasure, or whatever. Guilty as charged. Here goes: in just under 40 minutes of listening to the author of this book speak in an interview, I am compelled to say that I have never heard a better interview in my life. It is not merely the superb vocabulary he uses to describe how he became a chef; it is not merely the amazing story line; it is the man’s values, which drip from every word he utters. Click the image to the left to go to the podcast of that interview:
“Being born in Ethiopia, where there was a lack of food, and then really cooking with my grandmother Helga in Sweden. And my grandmother Helga was a cook’s cook.”
Helga’s roasted chicken, pan-fried herring and black bread captivated Samuelsson, who spent many afternoons watching and helping his grandmother cook.
“We were jarring, pickling, there was always a bowl of chicken soup ready to be served, there was always sausage ready to be made,” he says. “She was incessant all year round with cooking. … It was really in those rituals that my love for food was built.”