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Veronica Chambers

The Meaning of Michelle, Mama’s Girl, Yes Chef 


Veronica Chambers is a prolific author, best known for her critically acclaimed memoir Mama’s Girl and the New York Times Bestseller Yes Chef, which was co-authored with chef Marcus Samuelsson. In the New York Times, critic Dwight Garner called Yes Chef “one of the great culinary stories of our time.” President Bill Clinton raved, “In this memoir, Marcus Samuelsson tells a story that reaches past racial and national divides to the foundation of family, hope and downright good food.” In 2012, Yes Chef won the prestigious James Beard literary award.  In 2015, Veronica and Marcus published a young adult version of Yes Chef called Make it Messy which Barnes and Noble named one of their best teen books of the year.

In May 2016, Random House published 32 Yolks, the memoir Veronica co-authored with celebrated chef Eric Ripert.  This book became Veronica’s fourth New York Times bestselling collaboration. Of 32 Yolks, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “[Written] with a vulnerability and honesty that is breathtaking… Mr. Ripert takes us into the mind of a boy with thoughts so sweet they will cause you to weep. He also lets us into the mind of the man he is today, revealing all the golden cracks and chips that made him more valuable to those around him.”  Of the book, Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Heartbreaking. Horrifying. Poignant. And inspiring. I’ve known Eric for years and I had NO idea that this was how it all started. If you want to get a clear picture of where one gets the drive and dedication to be a truly great chef, there is no better or more harrowing an account.”

Veronica’s best-selling collaborations also include Everybody’s Got Something with beloved GMA host, Robin Roberts; and Wake Up Happy with award-winning GMA host and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, as well as Emperor of Sound with multi-platinum producer Timbaland. 

A passionate home cook, Veronica top-edited the food pages at Glamour and wrote Glamour’s best-selling cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know. She teaches writing, as well, and has taught at Bowdoin College, the Rutgers University summer program and at workshops such as the Out of Binders conference in New York. She is currently a JSK journalism fellow at Stanford University.

The New Yorker called Veronica’s own memoir, Mama’s Girl, “a troubling testament to grit and mother love … one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in years.” It has been course adopted by hundreds of high schools and colleges. Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, she writes often about her Afro-Latina heritage. Veronica’s personal book projects reflect her curiosity, her passion for travel, and her love of children and children’s literature. Her non-fiction books include Kickboxing Geishas: How Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation and The Joy of Doing Things Badly: A Girl’s Guide to Love, Life and Foolish Bravery.   

She’s been a top editor at The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Glamour and Good Housekeeping, among other magazines.  As a director of brand development at Hearst, she was part of the executive team that led the relaunch of Good Housekeeping and Goodhousekeeping.com.  She then took her entrepreneurial brand of journalism to Conde Nast, where she developed and launched Glam Latina. A year later, she developed and launched Women’s Day Latina at Hearst.

Veronica has also written more than a dozen books for children, most recently the critically acclaimed Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa and the body confidence young adult novel Plus. In May 2017, she published The Go-Between, a young adult novel about teens, race, culture and class in Los Angeles.

Veronica spent two seasons as an executive story editor for the CW network’s hit series Girlfriends and earned a BET Comedy Award for her writing on the show. She has also written and developed projects for Fox and Nickelodeon.  Veronica has contributed to several anthologies including the best-selling Bitch in the House, edited by Cathi Hanuaer and Mommy Wars, edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

In 2014, Veronica Chambers and her husband, Jason, launched the Loud Emily scholarship, in honor of Emily Fisher, Veronica’s mentor in philanthropy.  The Loud Emily scholarship provides full tuition for two girls to the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in New York.  The girls are chosen on the basis of essays and short creative videos that explain how and why they use their voices and their music, to speak loudly, for the causes they believe in.

A graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Veronica and her husband have endowed three scholarships at the college in the fields of music and literature. She has been the recipient of several awards including the Hodder fellowship for emerging novelists at Princeton University and a National Endowment for the Arts fiction award.

In early 2017, St. Martin’s Press published The Meaning of Michelle, a collection of essays about Michelle Obama, edited by Veronica. Essayists include Ava DuVernay, Brittney Cooper, and Roxane Gay.

She speaks, reads and writes Spanish, but she is truly fluent in Spanglish. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in northern California.

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Veronica Chambers
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