Book TourChasing FlavorsChef

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home

By Marcus Samuelsson | September 9, 2014

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home
Off  Duty Cover

Amazon   -   Barnes and Noble   -   Indiebound

Since publishing my last cookbook, New American Table, so much has happened. I have cooked for the President of the United States at his first State Dinner, I have opened my dream restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, I have written my memoir Yes,Chef and joined the group of mentors on ABC’s The Taste. Of all the things I have done in the last four years, the most memorable are those spent chasing flavors, finding  inspiration from old friends and new.  Marcus Off Duty is a reflection of all of these things. Read More

Recipe Roundup

My Favorite Mash-Ups

By Marcus Samuelsson | August 19, 2014

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I love twists on classic cuisine. My style of cooking blends culture, contrasts flavors, and plays with new styles of eating. It’s always been my methodology. That’s why I’m so excited for the second episode of my new show, The Feed. The episode, “Mashed Up Dishes & Food Design Wishes,” has Max Silvestri, Gail Simmons, and me crafting daring new food combinations. In preparation for the airing of the episode, I’ve compiled a few of my best food mash-up recipes below. Give them a try for something different, and make sure to tune into The Feed on Thursday, August 21, at 10 PM Eastern Time.

Korean Wonton Tacos with Napa Slaw

Swede Doggy Dog with Shrimp Salad 

Chai Toddy

Corn Pancakes with Chili-Covered Gravlax

News

The Feed Premieres this Thursday, August 21st at 10PM EST on FYI Network

By Marcus Samuelsson | August 18, 2014

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I am so excited to announce that my new show, The Feed will begin airing on Thursday, August 21st with back-to-back episodes at 10PM EST on FYI. Together with Top Chef‘s Gail Simmons and comedian Max Silvestri, I’ll be navigating NYC’s latest food trends in this one of a kind culinary adventure. Part talk show, part challenge,The Feed aims to open up viewers to unique culinary experiences and try something different.

In episode 1, “Ghostly Meals & Food with Wheels,” we attempt to solve the mystery of phantom cuisine and shake up the norms of food to go. Episode 2, “Mashed Up Dishes & Food Design Wishes,” has Max, Gail, and I designing daring new food combinations and gadgets.

Tune in this Thursday, August 21 at 10 pm Eastern Time to check out the series premiere of The Feed. Click here for more information and airdates, and enjoy the preview clip below!

Food Stories

Swedish Salty Licorice

By Suzannah Schneider | August 15, 2014

Image by /kallu

It’s unfathomable to most, coveted by some. Enthusiasts keep an emergency stash of the stuff in their purse; others take a nibble and promptly spit it out. It elicits passion, nostalgia, pain, discomfort, and satisfaction.

Ah, yes, Swedish salty licorice.

Swedish candy is notoriously fantastic, but salted licorice is the black sheep of the otherwise delectable family of gummy sweets. The stuff is potent and undoubtedly polarizing.

Licorice itself is the root of a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra that is native to Spain, Italy, and Asia. The plant contains a component that is 20-40 times sweeter than sugar, so it is logical flavoring option for candy.

No one quite knows how or why licorice candy was first combined with a salty flavor, but its history as a confectionary began in Scandinavia in the 1930s. Salted licorice, however, doesn’t actually contain any salt. The brininess comes from the chemical ammonium chloride, so salted licorice is often called salmiakki, the Finish word for ammonium chloride. Modern salty licorice ranges in color from light brown to deep black, and it may be chewy or hard. Salted licorice is popular in Sweden, of course, as well as The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and Germany.

What is so enticing about salted licorice for Scandinavians? Consider the classic dishes gravlax or pickled herring. Bitter saltiness is deeply embedded in Scandinavian cuisine and home cooking, so a salty flavor is intertwined with notions of comfort and home. Curing meat and fish with salt during the long winter months is standard practice for many Scandinavians in past and present time, so an affinity for salt is deeply rooted in the Scandinavian palette.

On the other hand, salty licorice could merely exist as national entertainment. Many Scandinavians admit to enjoy feeding salty licorice to tourists just to watch them squirm. Some say it’s almost a national sport!

Most Swedes consume salted licorice as typical candy, but many also enjoy Turkish Pepper Shots, which are hard salted licorice popped into a shot of vodka. If you’re hooked to the flavor, it’s easy to want to infuse everything with salmiakki. However, too much licorice can cause a spike in blood pressure, so be careful not to overdo it.

Salty licorice is a unique treat for a large part of the world. It acts to demonstrate the diversity of global food preferences and the fascinating ways in which tastes are formed through the forces of climate, culture, and ecology.

Have you ever tried salty licorice? What was your experience like?

 

Farmer's Market

Celebrating Summer at the 125th Street Farmers’ Market

By Suzannah Schneider | August 11, 2014

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Plums and peaches

The 125th Street Farmers’ Market is one of the best places to be this time of year. The summer growing season peaks in late July into August, so the market is bursting with the vibrant colors and aromas of produce like tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, beans, plums, and corn. The market also features all kinds of treats including grass-fed meats, hard cider, free-range eggs, jewelry, natural body products, fresh breads, and informational tents for alternative energy sources. There’s also fantastic live music courtesy of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and Harlem Community Development Corporation.

There’s a whole lotta goodness in this slice of Harlem!

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Farmers’ markets are fantastic because they offer such unique produce. Sure, you can purchase your typical apples and carrots, but interesting plants like cranberry beans (above), green plums, or yellow string beans (below) are also available at a fair price.

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The 125th Street Farmers’ Market is a project of Governor Cuomo’s FreshConnect initiative to bring fresh food from New York farms to underserved communities throughout New York. Almost 1.5 million New Yorkers live in an area with limited grocery store access, also known as “food deserts.” FreshConnect aims to combat this problem through the “FreshConnect Checks” program. The project provides a $2 rebate check for every $5 in SNAP benefits (formerly known as “Food Stamps”) spent at the market. This means that everyone can have access to local, sustainably-grown, delicious food.

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What we love here at Marcus Samuelsson Group about farmers’ markets is how they connect us to nature. We live in New York City  surrounded by concrete instead of soil, skyscrapers instead of trees. Sometimes we forget there’s a whole natural world out there! Farmers’ markets connect us to the environment in a very tangible and delicious way. We’re reminded of how scrumptious seasonal produce can be.

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We hope to see you at the 125th Street Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays through November 25, 2104 from 10 am to 7 pm, rain or shine on the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.!

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Community

Citi Kids with Mr. Met, Michelle Yu and Me

By Marcus Samuelsson | July 31, 2014

Citi Kids in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda
Photo by Steve Campbell

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting a very special group of kids at Citi Field. With my friend Michelle Yu of SNY, I spoke to over 100 kids from the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens about the importance of Jackie Robinson’s nine values: Courage, Excellence, Persistence, Justice, Teamwork, Commitment, Citizenship, Determination and Integrity. Other speakers included scholars and volunteers of the Jackie Robinson Foundation who encouraged Citi Kids to persevere and dream big.

The kids also got a tour of Citi Field, tickets to the game and snacks from the park’s infamous concession stands. Two of Citi Kids made it onto the field and into the dugout with me before the game– cheering me on for the ceremonial First Pitch. I had a great time and doing this on behalf of City Harvest was the perfect way to spend my first visit to Citi Field and my very first Mets game.

 

ChefCommunityFood StoriesNews

A Talented Harlem Student Enjoys a Pastry Internship with Red Rooster

By Suzannah Schneider | July 29, 2014

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Jake hard at work in the Red Rooster Kitchen

In May, Marcus met an impressive young man named Jacob at Celebrate Northside! The Northside Center for Child Development 68th Anniversary Gala. Marcus was so moved by Jacob’s interest in cooking that he extended an internship to the 15 year-old aspiring chef. From Tuesday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 16 Jacob enjoyed a hands-on culinary experience within the pastry department at Red Rooster Harlem.

Jacob is a student at a rigorous college preparatory school in The Bronx. He loves science, especially chemistry and forensic sciences. His family is from the Dominican Republic, and he grew up learning how to cook dishes like fried sweet plantains and sorbets from his grandma and uncle. He’ll often make himself Dominican breakfast for dinner, which is a traditional dish of fried eggs, mashed plantains, fried salami, fried cheese, and fried sausage.

Jacob’s time with Red Rooster began early on Tuesday at 8:15 in the morning. He worked with our Pastry Chef Melissa Camacho making strawberry jam, cookies, cornbread, and peanut butter pie. He was appreciative of their patience, and really enjoyed working with the kind chefs. Jacob liked making cornbread because he makes a similar recipe at home with his uncle.

For lunch, Jacob enjoyed Red Rooster’s famous Triple-Double Burger infused with bacon, Jarlsberg, and rooster sauce, with, of course, a side of French fries. He was surprised he was able to finish the gigantic sandwich, but loved every bite of it. Jacob wrapped up his first day on the job with a chat with Chef Mark Gandara, mapping out his dreams for the future. He spent his second day of the internship preparing peaches to practice his knife skills.

A four-day sleep-away basketball camp is coming up for Jacob at the end of this summer. Although he’s eager to learn more about pastry and cooking, Jacob’s looking forward to some rest and relaxation after two long days on his feet.

ChefCommunityNewsTravel

Catching Up with HEAF’s 2014 Learning for Social Impact Course

By Marcus Samuelsson | July 28, 2014

Photo courtesy of HEAF

Last month a group of students from Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) spent an afternoon with me in Ginny’s Supper Club to learn about Swedish food and culture. The discussion and cooking demonstration were in preparation for the students’ trip to Stockholm as part of HEAF’s Learning for Social Impact cultural literacy course. I recently caught up with Jadira Mora, HEAF’s Program Coordinator of College Quest, to hear more about the group’s adventures in my homeland.

The students kicked off their trip with an invigorating bike tour of the Royal National City Park. They got to see the area the way most Scandinavians do – by bicycle. Other trip highlights include a tour of Stockholm City Hall, a fascinating lesson on the history of Swedish music, a visit with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, and a meeting with King Entertainment, the creators of Candy Crush Saga. Additionally, the LSI class enjoyed conversations with The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce over a traditional Swedish Fika (coffee break). The HEAF students also met kids their own age to compare personal experiences, and attended the first World Cup game screening put on by Ortens Favoriter, a youth organization in the suburbs. I wish I could’ve been there!

Jadira facilitated debriefings each night so the students could discuss their experiences of the day. The students faced a lot of culture shock, and were surprised to encounter a different kind of diversity in Sweden. They found that diversity often relates to different nationalities instead of different colors of skin.

Of course, the HEAF students thoroughly enjoyed Swedish cuisine. They ate meatballs similar to the kind I made with them, enjoyed a lot of fish, and even tried Gubbröra, which is a traditional Swedish anchovy dish that translates to “Old Man’s Mix.” The students were surprised at the large portion sizes that were available in restaurants, and were delighted by Swedish chocolate. (We do have the best candy!)

It was great to hear about the students’ trip, and it was an honor to work with them beforehand to discuss my experience growing up in Sweden. I hope to see my HEAF friends again soon.

Food Stories

History of the New England Clambake

By Suzannah Schneider | July 21, 2014

Photo by andrewyang

Marcus is hosting a traditional New England clambake on the Jersey Shore this Saturday at The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. In preparing for the event, many of us here in the Marcus Samuelsson Group offices recently found ourselves quite curious about the custom. We turned to trusty Google to learn more, and wanted to share our findings with you.

Today, clambakes are no longer exclusive to New England, as they are incredibly popular in Ohio and even California. There are also endless variations in technique and ingredients. For instance, some clambakes include sausages and other meat. In the past, seafood was not considered an adequate protein source for the men doing the hard labor of digging and gathering for the clambake, so meat was added for energy. This is why some clam chowder includes ham bone or bacon. Other menu items for a clambake can include lobster, white potatoes, corn, and cold beer; the only universal item is steamed clams. Clambakes have also been streamlined in recent years with the use of enormous stainless-steel pots heated by propane burners.

We were astonished to learn that clambakes have been a tradition in New England for over 2,000 years. Native American tribes of states such as Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut have long cooked clams and lobsters in sand pits as means of subsistence. In fact, it is possible to still stumble upon remnants of historic cooking pits in Rhode Island.

A traditional clambake begins by digging a pit in the sand of the beach where the clams are gathered. The pit is a product of centuries past: Native Americans did not have massive cooking pots, so they used the earth as their cooking vessel. The pit is then filled with seaweed, lined with hot rocks or stones that have been heated until white-hot over a wood fire. Next, live clams, mussels, and lobsters are added, and the pit is covered with more seaweed and some sand. Finally, a wet tarp of canvas or plastic is laid over all until the food is cooked.

The end product of a clambake is not necessarily a decadent meal. Clambakes are the types of cultural traditions that don’t just feed the participants. Instead, they are deeply nourishing events for the individual and the community. Kathy Neustadt’s book Clambake paints a vivid picture of the Allen’s Neck Friends Meeting’s annual clambake in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, which has occurred on the third Thursday of August since 1888 (!). Neustadt discusses how the event is inclusive, relying on the abilities of every individual.  She also emphasizes how clambakes revere the surrounding environment, relying on the fertile soil and easy access to the ocean to create the custom. Clambakes exist as a reminder of ancestry as time marches on.

Few meals are as fulfilling as a clambake. It is an all-day activity that yields scrumptious results, but the long process and intricate cooking method creates a reverence for the tradition and its participants.

 

ChefCommunity

Dine above Times Square and Stand Up To Cancer!

By Marcus Samuelsson | July 11, 2014

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Join me in the fight against cancer while enjoying a one-of-a-kind dining experience above the crossroads of the world. I’ve prepared a five -course, prix –fixe meal of some of my favorite dishes to be served at a dining table 25 feet above Times Square in New York City through Mastercard’s Priceless Table. Dinners at Priceless Table will be served on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, July 16-August 2, 2014. The cost for the dinner is $100 for two, or $50 per person, which will be donated to Stand Up to Cancer.

I filled the menu with dishes, such as tomato watermelon gazpacho and ramen salmon salad, that have nutritious and timely ingredients. I try to eat healthy as often as possible, and was excited to include the omega-3s and good fats of the salmon and avocado we are serving. I also tried to be conscious of seasonality with fresh tomatoes and watermelon. Our bodies naturally crave things that are in season, so this gazpacho is perfect for healthful summer eating.

I’ve had several people in my life diagnosed with cancer in the last few years, so the Priceless Table for Stand Up To Cancer project really hits home. It’s hard to sit by and watch as your loved one battles, and there’s nothing you can do. Stand Up To Cancer is the best answer to that. Plus, what could be more fun than sitting above Times Square and enjoying a one-of-a-kind meal?

You can purchase tickets here.

Featured Recipe

Image by Rod Waddington Dinner

By Suzannah Schneider

Injera

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More

Restaurants

Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Norda
Marc Burger