Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Marcus Samuelsson, the superstar chef behind restaurants in New York, Chicago, Southern California and Sweden tells Food & Wine about his time-intensive fried chicken, the best theater to visit in Harlem and how to get guests dancing at a dinner party. What’s your most requested recipe, the one dish you’re most known for? At Red Rooster people love our fried chicken. It takes three days. First we cure it, then we marinate it in buttermilk and coconut milk, then we then fry it on low heat, then on high heat. It comes out golden and crispy, it’s one of the most popular things on our menu. What’s your favorite cookbook of all time?White Heat, by Marco Pierre White. I think my mom or my sister bought it for me for some holiday when I lived in Sweden. Just the visual aspect of him being a young chef, and not looking like any other chef, I related to that as a black chef. Obviously he wasn’t black, but he offered a difference. When the book came out in 1990, he wasn’t even 30 and had two Michelin stars. Yet he wasn’t French, he was English, he had long hair and was pissed off all the time. I was drawn to all of that. What’s one technique or dish everyone should know? How to make Swedish meatballs. They’re so comforting. The best have equal parts pork, beef and veal—ground pork shoulder for the fat, then beef and veal for flavor. Then we generally add onions, some bread crumbs, honey as a sweetener, and then I like to add a pinch of berbere spice mix. After you shape them, it’s a good idea to put them in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to firm them up; if you fry the meatballs at room temperature, they sometimes fall apart. Cook them first on low heat until they’re cooked through, then crank up the heat to give them a little color. Set them out on a platter with mashed potatoes or braised cabbage and let everyone serve themselves.  Can you share one great entertaining tip? I like to teach Ethiopian tribal dance moves during my parties. Most of my friends aren’t Ethiopian, so it’s pretty memorable for them. If you Google “Ethiopian tribal dance,” you’ll see what I’m talking about. The moves are the same for men and women, and everyone looks silly, so it’s a fun icebreaker.  What are 5 cool places in New York City where you like to take out-of-town friends? Obviously, the Apollo Theater in Harlem is amazing. Sometimes my Swedish friends are surprised when they start booing people off the stage, but that’s always a good time. The High Line is beautiful any time of the year. I love to walk the whole length of it; it gives you a totally different look at the city. I always feel lucky to live in New York afterward. Nothing beats hitting a museum. MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) can get crazy crowded, but I can still walk around at my own pace. I’m such a huge fan of Lichtenstein, Warhol, Basquiat, and they’re all there. For Swedes, stand-up comedy is something very American, and when my Swedish friends come here, it’s one of the first things they want to do. I’ll often take them to Caroline’s, depending on the comedian. Then you’ve got to go to K-Town, Koreatown, for some karaoke and kimchi. I’d suggest a place but part of the point is to get lost in translation—to end up at some random karaoke joint where they tell you “fourth floor, on the left, booth No. 29!” Nothing beats being a foreigner in the city where you live. You discover something about your own home.
Marcus Samuelsson's delicious hand pies are filled with callaloo and andouille, but you can fill them with anything you have on hand — sausage, fish, ham, vegetables, or even fresh crab or chopped pumpkin. In the Caribbean, callaloo refers to the leaves of particular plants like the taro or amaranth, as well as the dish of greens stewed with broth or coconut milk, sometimes with a small amount of meat or fish as seasoning. Often described as "Indonesian relish," sambal's etymology can be traced to Java, long before trade between Malaysia and Indonesia eventually took sambal to South Africa. Here, it's served alongside the hand pies for dipping.
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For this recipe, Marcus Samuelsson stuffs collards with onions, herbs, and fonio, a tiny protein-rich grain that has been grown and eaten for thousands of years in West Africa. He seasons his fonio with dawadawa powder, an umami-rich seasoning made from fermented locust beans. Samuelsson's version of sambal is made with roasted red peppers and is used as a sauce to bake with the collards. To finish it off, you need just a little bit of the spicy sauce moyo on top of each roll.
Left Over Chicken Soup
Rating: Unrated
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This Leftover Chicken Soup from Marcus Samuelsson uses the whole bird, from bones to livers, to make a nearly no-waste dinner. First, Samuelsson makes the stock from charred aromatics and chicken bones. Then, he sears the livers and shreds the chicken for the soup. Feel free to substitute store-bought stock and upgrade it by simmering with charred vegetables. Printed with permission from Chef Marcus Samuelsson Slideshow: More Chicken Soup Recipes 
Chef Marcus Samuelsson makes incredible biscuits, adding a little bit of nutty brown butter to amp up the flavor. He serves them warm, spread with tangy-sweet tomato jam, fried ham and perfectly scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese. Slideshow: More Breakfast Sandwich Recipes 
Andouille Bread Pudding
Rating: Unrated
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Each Thanksgiving since he opened his Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster, chef Marcus Samuelsson has been serving this savory, bacon-studded bread pudding, which is a favorite among guests.
This easy and delicious mac and cheese recipe by starchef Marcus Samuelsson features three kinds of cheese, including cream cheese for that extra creaminess. Slideshow: More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes 
“I love that root vegetables are so rustic,” says chef Marcus Samuelsson about this earthy, Indian-spiced soup. “I add pear and walnuts for sophistication and crunch.” He says that if you can’t find sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), simply use all parsnips instead. The recipe is adapted from his book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Soup Recipes 
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Chef Marcus Samuelsson updates the apple pie–cheddar combo by hiding the cheese in the flaky crust. The filling is tangy and assertively spiced; Samuelsson includes cardamom, a common sweet seasoning in his native Sweden. This recipe is adapted from the chef’s book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Apple Pie Recipes 
Moroccan-Spiced Turkey
Rating: Unrated
2
This super-easy turkey is flavored with ras el hanout, a North African spice blend. The pan juices, flavored by the citrus-spice mixture that bastes the bird as it roasts, double as a sauce. Slideshow: Global Thanksgiving Turkeys 
“I love that root vegetables are so rustic,” says chef Marcus Samuelsson about this earthy, Indian-spiced soup. “I add pear and walnuts for sophistication and crunch.” He says that if you can’t find sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), simply use all parsnips instead. The recipe is adapted from his book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Soup Recipes 
Chef Marcus Samuelsson updates the apple pie–cheddar combo by hiding the cheese in the flaky crust. The filling is tangy and assertively spiced; Samuelsson includes cardamom, a common sweet seasoning in his native Sweden. This recipe is adapted from the chef’s book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Apple Pie Recipes 
Moroccan-Spiced Turkey
Rating: Unrated
2
This super-easy turkey is flavored with ras el hanout, a North African spice blend. The pan juices, flavored by the citrus-spice mixture that bastes the bird as it roasts, double as a sauce. Slideshow: Global Thanksgiving Turkeys 
Four-Citrus Couscous
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Chef Marcus Samuelsson sometimes stuffs whole turkey with this bright and aromatic couscous, but the grains are just as good—and easier to make—if they're simply steamed and served on their own.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson puts an Ethiopian twist on spiced pecans, which he tosses with sweet roasted butternut squash in an orange dressing. Slideshow: More Global Thanksgiving Recipes
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Glögg
Rating: Unrated
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For this version of Swedish mulled wine, chef Marcus Samuelsson spikes white wine and rosé with vodka infused with cardamom and ginger. The drink is boozy, aromatic and delicious. Slideshow:  More Warming Drink Recipes 
Black-Bottom Peanut Pie
Rating: Unrated
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This is chef Marcus Samuelsson’s take on a classic Southern black-bottom pie. He added a peanut-caramel layer on top as an ode to his favorite candy bar, Snickers. “When I was a kid, I would treat myself to a Snickers bar on the way to soccer practice,” he writes in his cookbook Marcus Off Duty. “I don’t eat many candy bars these days, but I still love that combination of flavors.” Slideshow:  More Pie and Tart Recipes 
This refreshing, superhealthy salad is one of chef Marcus Samuelsson’s favorite ways to showcase kale; massaging the leaves with vinegar, salt and olive oil makes them tender and sweet. This recipe is adapted from the chef’s book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Thanksgiving Kale Recipes 
This creamy, complex-tasting dish from chef Marcus Samuelsson relies on assertive African flavors like berbere (an Ethiopian spice mix) and coconut milk. Don’t leave out the habanero—it’s not too hot because it’s seeded, and it adds a fruity, tropical flavor. Slideshow:  More Recipes from Marcus Samuelsson 
Cucumber Sambal
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This recipe has been adapted from The Soul of a New CuisineMore Recipes from Marcus Samuelsson
Boerwors Sausage Patties
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This recipe has been adapted from The Soul of a New CuisineMore Recipes from Marcus Samuelsson
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Tomato-Cucumber Chutney
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Marcus Samuelsson's curry-laced chutney reflects India's influence on East African cooking. Honey makes the chutney slightly sweet, and sesame seeds, sprinkled over the top just before serving, add crunch. More Condiment Recipes
Spicy Quince Sambal
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This tart and fiery condiment was inspired by the sambal of Cape Malay cooking, brought to South Africa by Indonesian and Malaysian slaves.
Marcus Samuelsson drew on African staples like yams and okra to create this completely original recipe of roasted sweet potatoes tossed with red potatoes, wilted spinach, and sautéed okra. Toasted mustard seeds and a caper vinaigrette give this delicious salad a nutty, tangy flavor.
Pork-and-Beef Hand Pies
Rating: Unrated
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The menu at star chef Marcus Samuelsson's Manhattan restaurant Red Rooster Harlem reflects the diverse communities in his neighborhood. His meat pattie–filled with a mix of ground beef and pork, raisins and spices–are an ode to the strong Jamaican presence. More Pork Recipes
Paprika-Roasted Leg of Lamb
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Lamb, says Marcus Samuelsson, is one of Africa's most popular meats. Here, he butterflies a leg to help it cook more quickly and rubs it with paprika, ancho chile and ground cardamom—recalling the fiery Mozambique condiment piri-piri. More Lamb Recipes