Telling A Story With My Cooking or How Marcus Samuelsson Inspired Me

Thien-Kim cooking with Marcus Samuelsson at BlogHer 2010 NYC-I'm Not the Nanny

On my train ride to New York City last week, I finished reading Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir Yes, Chef (affiliate link but you can get a free audiobook via the link too!). My copy was an audiobook, borrowed from my local library. While I have a love-hate relationship with audiobooks (not enough time to listen uninterrupted; love them in the car), Samuelsson’s voice and words had me hooked in less than five minutes.

What I loved most about his memoir are his observations about race in America vs. Sweden (and other countries he’d worked in) and in the restaurant industry. I admire his ambition and his love for food. He truly loves his food and always aspires to do more with food.

I can’t stop thinking about how Marcus Samuelsson describes how chefs come up with their signature dish. It made me realize that I don’t have a dish that I cook and execute so well that it’s what people know me for. I don’t have a recipe that I feel is truly mine and describes my story on a plate. So I started thinking,

What is my signature dish?

Since then I’ve been thinking about how do I take two flavors or cuisines that I love most to create something different. What ingredients and flavors will taste fabulous together while telling my love of Vietnamese and Louisiana/southern food?

My brain has been working on overtime since I listened to that chapter of Yes, Chef. I’ve been talking out recipe ideas and possible flavor combos with my husband. I’m taking lots of notes as I “cook” the recipe in my head. Will it work? What other flavors can I add to connect the two cuisines together?

The creativity is bubbling and I feel electric every time I think about the concepts I have so far.

I’ve never felt this invigorated by just the idea of cooking.

I think I’m almost ready to actually execute a couple of the recipes I’ve written down. I’m leaving for BlogHer on Wednesday (I’m speaking!) so I need to wait until I return and recover. Who knows what I’ll come up before then?

I’m going to need some taste testers besides my husbands once I’m happy with my dishes. Who’s with me?

Thank you Marcus Samuelsson for inspiring me to think beyond what I’m currently cooking! Who knew meeting and cooking with him four years ago at BlogHer 2010 would turn into this electrifying creativity in the kitche?

One Response

  1. Mimi July 22, 2014