Food Stories

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Sukiyaki Nights

By Diana Tsuchida | July 18, 2012

Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki

No matter the geographical distance that separates me from my family, there is one particular smell that immediately transports my heart back home. It has the kind of haunting ability to overwhelm my palette and mind with memories of the dinner table. My father, a man of limited cooking abilities (grilled cheese sandwiches made with Velveeta tops his repertoire) has one excellent culinary trick up his sleeve–a Japanese comfort dish called sukiyaki. This highly anticipated meal always managed to bring out the glutton in me and would require an entire day of prep work, from going to the market in Japantown, to cutting the vegetables, to allowing the big skillet to heat up for twenty minutes before laying the strips of beef down to sizzle. Read More

Food StoriesWhat To Buy

How to Build an Ethnic Pantry: Halal

By Justin Chan | July 17, 2012

Photo: Matthew Mendoza

Photo: Matthew Mendoza

Hidden between two stores on 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights is a halal market that carries a number of products that attract Muslim customers daily. The place seems sparse at first look, but a close observation reveals a shelf lined with unique spices and a small fridge filled with different kinds of raw meat.

Halal food has become a mainstay in New York cuisine, and markets such as Yusuf Mohammad’s are taking advantage of its popularity. In fact, people of various backgrounds have visited his market. Mohammad, a Bangladeshi who works the store’s cash register, said that Bangladeshi, Indian, Chinese and American visitors have purchased goods, and he was more than eager to share the kinds of ingredients that should be found in every Muslim pantry: Read More

Food StoriesWho To Know

Kids Yield Crops: In the Garden with Harlem Grown

By Emma Laperruque | July 12, 2012

Harlem Success Garden

Harlem Success Garden

Only two years ago, the lot across the street from P.S. 175 in Harlem was desolate: an abandoned community garden overflowing with trash, rats, and weeds. Thanks largely to the elementary school students next door, the space is a garden once more as it overflows with everything from cucumbers and melons to birds and worms, not to mention a ton of fresh basil.

The restoration all started with Tony Hillery, a man who originally came to P.S. 175 to assist the school’s parent coordinator. After spending some time in the area, though, Hillery had a revelation. Walking around the neighborhood, he counted 53 fried chicken restaurants within a three-block radius, and he began to think about the community’s access to nutritious food.

“You have pizza, fried chicken, fried fish, fried everything. I couldn’t get a healthy meal,” he said. “It was an epiphany. I said to myself: Why not do something?” Read More

Food StoriesPhotosWho To Know

Close as Kin: The Art of Sharing Food and a Table

By Jeannette Park | July 10, 2012

Outdoor dinner in Austin

Outdoor dinner in Austin

Perusing through the pages of a Kinfolk Magazine will transport you to a rustic fairytale of endless summer picnics that taste of freshly bottled honey, warm bread with jam placed upon long wooden family tables that seat up to twenty of your closest hungry friends. Getting swept up in the tranquility of it all is easy, and is precisely what founder Nathan Williams had in mind when he and a group of friends developed their exquisitely designed communal gatherings. We were able to snag a few precious moments with Williams to further explore the manifesto behind Kinfolk and why, more than ever, sharing good food, time and laughter with friends and family is a necessary life fulfillment. Read More

Food Stories

It’s Tea Time Somewhere: A Look Into Tea Cultures

By Emma Laperruque | July 5, 2012

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Photo: Jeremy Keith

According to Chinese legend, Emperor Chen-nung invented tea in 2374 BC–by accident. One summer day, he decided to relax beneath a shrub tree and place a bowl of boiling water beside him. Soon after, a soft breeze blew a few shrub leaves into the bowl, where they began to steep. After smelling the delicate aroma, Emperor Chen-nung tasted the infusion, and thus, tea was born.

Though the story remains up for debate, no one argues that the shrub Emperor Chen-nung sat under (the Camellia sinensis, or tea, tree) hails from China, nor that the country was the first to brew the drink. The popular modern method of infusion developed gradually, becoming prevalent by the Ming dynasty when drinking tea started to take on symbolic qualities. It began to signify more than a beverage, but a ritual, too, representing discipline and beauty. Read More

Food Stories

With Love to Helga

By Marcus Samuelsson | May 24, 2012

Marcus, 1983

I ask people all the time what is their earliest food memory. But when I turn this question on myself it would not be a single taste, but a smell—my grandmother’s house.

My Mormor worked as maid for upper-class Swedish families during two World Wars so she knew how to ration food. Bread could be used for three days (eaten fresh on day one, toast on day two, make croutons on day three) and she taught me not to waste any part when cooking meat, pork or poultry. This waste not, want not mentality might have its roots in survival, but it’s also weaved into preparing some of the most exotic delicacies. The first time I had fugu (blowfish) in Tokyo, I started my meal with fugu sashimi, went on to have it portions of the poisonous fish baked and fried, and ended my meal with a soup made from vegetables and the blowfish’s bones.

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Food Stories

The Root of the Solution

By Jeannette Park | May 24, 2012

Photo: eekim

Photo: eekim

“It’s made from concentrated ginseng. Do you know what that is?”

I look at the perky girl behind the beauty counter in amazement and almost laugh into her perfectly made-up face. Had she not even told me the super ingredient in the latest super cream, the distinct smell pervades so many childhood memories it’s hard to miss. “Here, try some,” she says dabbing a bit onto my hand. “It’s called Sulwhasoo and it’s made from ginseng, a plant grown in the Korean Peninsula. Apparently it is one of the most precious medicinal plants around.”

Growing up, sun and sand was always the preferred prescription for whatever ailed me. But with a mother who walked on the shady side of any street to prevent excess sun exposure to her admittedly flawless complexion, her cure-all was ginseng. Used in teas, elixirs and now beauty creams, the ginseng root has been known to reduce mental stress and anxiety, increase mental clarity and alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve athletic endurance. With these kind of benefits it’s a wonder ginseng isn’t more readily used in Western health regimes. But anyone who has experienced the fragrant root can attest to
why it’s not the most popular remedy.  Read More

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Injera

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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

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Red Rooster Harlem
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Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
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