Samuelsson’s Audiobook ‘Our Harlem’

Our Harlem features interviews with folks like style icon Dapper Dan, veteran Harlem chef Charles Gabriel, and food historian Jessica Harris, along with a soundtrack as diverse as Red Rooster's clientele, and most importantly, Samuelsson's rhythmic, affable voice. (Getty Images)

Forbes

Spotlight: Forbes on Marcus Samuelsson’s Audiobook ‘Our Harlem’

Our Harlem opens on the sound of laughter.

You’re welcomed into the story, invited by the voices of the neighborhood. It seems intentional, significant, even, that Marcus Samuelsson’s jovial, hard-to-place voice is the third one to greet listeners on the recording. He wants you to know from the beginning that he’s telling this story, but it’s not a story about him.

Our Harlem is an Audible Original adaptation of Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Cookbook with a few vital differences. In the print version, he tells us about the history, culture, and food of the remarkable place he’s chosen to call home. In the audiobook, he takes you there.

Books are personal totems, little worlds unto themselves, but they cannot give you the mood and the music, the strong sense of place that’s possible on audio. By adapting it into an audiobook, Samuelsson has taken what was a brilliant cookbook with stories and transformed it into a vibrant story with recipes.

In letting the culinary instruction take a backseat, he focuses on Harlem itself. Our Harlem features interviews with folks like style icon Dapper Dan, veteran Harlem chef Charles Gabriel, and food historian Jessica Harris, along with a soundtrack as diverse as Red Rooster’s clientele, and most importantly, Samuelsson’s rhythmic, affable voice.

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