When I heard Marcus Samuelsson was coming to Dallas to talk about his new book “The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem” I caught my breath. I glanced from my kitchen table office to my cookbooks and saw the familiar green cover of his pan-African cookbook “The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa.” Meeting this James Beard Award-winning chef would not only be outrageously cool because of his mad culinary skills; as an adoptee with Ethiopian roots, his journey somewhat reflects my own son’s story. I knew how special it would be to him to meet this superstar.
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Like my son, Marcus Samuelsson was adopted from Ethiopia as a young child. Growing up in Sweden, fishing and preserving the catch was a part of his childhood. Like many chefs, he grew up cooking and appreciating local and fresh flavors. After traveling to Ethiopia to connect with his birthfather and family, Marcus began to incorporate Ethiopian flavors and textures into his repertoire. Living and working in Harlem has expanded his cooking even more as the diverse flavors influence new fusion dishes with Marcus’ unique touch.
Marcus Samuelsson has opened his 11th restaurant: The Red Rooster on Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem. Since the 1930s Harlem has attracted Black talent and artists from around the United States, Latin America, and Africa. The Red Rooster will reflect both Southern and immigrant traditions, in a cross-cultural food experience like no other. From biscuits, chicken and waffles, and collards, to Latino pork and plantains, Ethiopian spicy lamb, and Swedish-inspired breads: Marcus infuses his own heritage and experiences into globally influenced dishes and Southern comfort foods.
I am so excited we will be learning from Macy’s Culinary Council Chef Marcus Samuelsson this Saturday! He will be sharing stories and secrets on how to prepare some of his favorite award-winning dishes. If you’re able to come, you’ll enjoy delicious samples, as well as performances by Harlem-based band The Rakiem Walker Project and NYC-based dance group W.A.F.F.L.E.!
This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.