Chef Marcus Samuelssohn was taught in culinary school that French cuisine is the gold standard of cooking. One day, he realized, “somebody lied."
Samuelsson, a black Swede and the youngest chef to ever receive a 3-star review from the New York Times (at age 23), has forged a new culinary ethos that permeates his restaurants in Harlem, Montreal, and London and challenges how chefs build flavor. (Check out his Addis Taco recipe, which combines doro wat, collard greens, awaze, and eggs.)
Today his flagship restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, combines Swedish, Ethiopian food, and more, into dishes that have helped launch an empire. The menu includes cornbread with lingonberry butter, a salad with berbere vinaigrette, and his own take on fried chicken: a hot honey yardbird.
In this week's show, taped live on stage at the Museum of the City Of New York, Marcus Samuelsson talks about the life experiences that have informed his approach to food. He responds to criticism of his Red Rooster restaurants, and tells us about a new dish he’s working on that gives a rare window into the mind of a chef.
Interstitial music in this show by Black Label Music:
- "Rooftop Instrumental" by Erick Anderson
- "Nice Kitty" by Black Label Productions
- "Playful Rhodes" by Stephen Sullivan
Photos: Courtesy of Marcus Samuelssohn.