Chopped Judge Marcus Samuelsson Wins James Beard Award for Newest Book

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Photo by: Kevin Lynch ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Kevin Lynch, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Restaurant owner. Professional chef. Author. Chopped judge. Chopped All-Stars Champion. Philanthropist.

Marcus Samuelsson’s list of accolades is a long one, and after yesterday’s James Beard Foundation Books, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, it became even more impressive. At New York City’s Gotham Hall surrounded by renown chef superstars, the leaders in food writing and the who’s-who in the culinary industry, including his  Chopped peer and event host Ted Allen, Marcus accepted the Writing and Literature award for his latest book, Yes, Chef: A Memoir. He’s now a four-time James Beard Award-winning chef, having been lauded as Rising Star Chef and Best Chef: New York City and for Best International Cookbook in 1999, 2003 and 2007, respectively.

Telling the story of how Marcus moved from his birthplace in Ethiopia to Sweden and later to New York City, Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus’ lowest and highest moments both personally and professionally. The book was published in 2012, just two years after he opened his dream restaurant, Red Rooster, in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, allowing for the crisscrossing of cultures and cuisines in the area. After thanking his wife and family for believing in Yes, Chef, Marcus gave “a special shout out to Harlem” before returning to his table to celebrate.

Marcus wasn’t the only friend of Food Network who took home a coveted James Beard medal; Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern was honored with an award for Outstanding Personality/Host for his work on Bizarre Foods America. In one of the final and perhaps most emotional acceptance speeches of the evening, Andrew explained that while his career is indeed an integral part of who he is, it’s not the only part of him, as his wife and son are who he cherishes most and who “made this possible” for him.

Read the full list of James Beard Foundation Books, Broadcast & Journalism Awards winners.

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