Marcus Samuelsson Dishes on How to Eat Harlem | Saveur

The chef’s new cookbook is really a celebration of one of America’s most iconic communities

By Dan Q. Dao

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson (Photo: Matt Taylor-Gross)

Even if you had never seen an episode of the Food Network’s Chopped or dined at one of his 11 restaurants worldwide, there’s still a good chance Marcus Samuelsson would still capture your attention. In a town where everyone wears black, the New York chef is a glaring exception, clad, on any given day, in a well-constructed mashup of plaid, neon colors, and eye-grabbing accessories.

His outfits make all the more sense when he starts talking, and when he’s on his home turf in Harlem, he’s talking to just about everyone. Joining Samuelsson for a stroll down Lenox Avenue on a Wednesday afternoon meant stopping to chat with the folks running every other storefront, handing out high-fives to kids leaving school, and shaking hands with passing drivers who stop and roll down their windows just to yell out “I love your restaurant!”

Samuelsson’s earned the neighborhood’s affection for more than his food. Through his restaurants, Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird Rotisserie, he’s created over 200 jobs in the neighborhood, hiring locally in a community where unemployment is notoriously high. His food festival, Harlem EatUp!, also engages nearly 1,500 volunteers and brings in around 15,000 visitors to the area’s small businesses. It’s one of the ways he pays homage to his adopted community (he was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden), and he’s become sort of a local hero for it.

Read more: Marcus Samuelsson Dishes on How to Eat Harlem | Saveur


Marcus Samuelsson’s Guide to Harlem, NYC by Saveur

Related:

Chef Marcus Samuelsson brings his African and Swedish roots to Harlem | CT Post

How Harlem’s fried chicken and mac n’ cheese changed my life | CNBC

Marcus Samuelsson: the restaurant king of Harlem | The Guardian

Marcus Samuelsson Celebrates Black Female Chefs With a Month-Long Menu | Village Voice

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