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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
See Your Route and Run It: From Top Soldier to Top Chef by Chef Scottie A. Johnson arose from the biblical passage: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Mr. Johnson’s autobiography is a true story about forging one’s way into brand-new territory. It’s a testimony to the indispensable role that faith (if only the size of a mustard seed) plays in accomplishing one’s lifetime dream. In the case of Mr. Johnson, this dream came after a long and winding road. But come it did—in a thunderbolt! No wonder he wants to shout it to the rafters. Born in the “country” near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he wound his way from a working, God-loving family, high school football, several colleges, a wayward love life, and then 24 years in the U.S. Army. Then, he amazingly took an unplanned turn that shocked not only his wife and family but also himself. At age 47, he decided to become a chef!
See Your Route and Run It is a joy to read. It’s like a conversation you might have on a long train ride, with a fellow traveler telling you with uncontained joy about his life. These are the words of an inspired and exuberant man at the age most of us are complaining about our arthritis and graying hair. I felt his enthusiasm in every line, in each photograph and recipe. Chef Scottie is not a seasoned literary artist, and that is the charm of the voice with which he tells his story. Nor does he focus on the horrors of his tours of duty in war-torn places. He was there and felt it, but his message to us is that life is good and with faith and determination we can achieve our dreams and be a positive force for all those around us. See Your Route and Run It is a shining example of that message. Yes, he was in combat, but wait until you read the action of his victory in a Georgia seafood cookoff! Oh, and just to test the quality of his recipes, I had my wife give his four-cheese Mac & Cheese a try. And take my word for it—a five star yum!