Food for Thought

By The Numbers: Soft Beverages

By Mac Malikowski | May 31, 2013

Marcus Palmer

Egg cream, Arnold Palmer, Shirley Temple, hot chocolate, ginger tea, peanut milk, lemonade, switchel… The list goes on. While soft beverages, that is to say, non-alcoholic beverages, reign as indispensable staples of civilizations around the world, they do seem to lack the glamour and consideration bestowed on their boozy cousins. Read More

Food Stories

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

By Emma Laperruque | July 5, 2012


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


How to Infuse Your Own Liquor

By Cyndi Amaya | May 24, 2012

Infused Aquavit

House-infused liquors are all the rage now and can be seen in restaurants and bars everywhere. Even Red Rooster Harlem and Ginny’s Supper Club have their own house-infused spirits that are widely used in our house favorite cocktails. From dill-infused vodka to fig-infused bourbon, liquor infusion is becoming a tradition in its own right at Red Rooster. Although it’s becoming more popular now, alcohol infusion dates back centuries and is ingrained in some cultures, like the process of making Aquavit in Sweden.

While house-infused liquors can sound like a mystical and highly technical practice, it’s quite the opposite and in fact is as simple a process as it can get.  Read More


5 Affordable Sparkling Wines

By Michele Wolfson | May 24, 2012

Photo: Scott Schiller

Photo: Scott Schiller

Did you know that there are 49 million bubbles in one bottle of champagne? Perhaps, it’s just that which makes sparkling wines everyone’s light go-to drink during this warm time of year. Champagne and other sparkling wines are in fact a category of wine and that are typically derived from a blend of grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier.

The difference between Champagne and other sparkling wines is that Champagne comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France and claims the honor of being the most famous of the sparkling wines. Technically, it is the only sparkling wine that may be referred to as “Champagne.” Bubbly from all other regions in the world are simply referred to as “sparkling wine,” “prosecco,” or “cava.” However, countries like Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. can give France a run for the money by producing some fantastic sparkling wines and they are often less expensive.

Here is a list of our 5 Sparkling Wines that are delicious and affordable. They are the perfect buy this time of year whether you are going to a party as a guest or throwing a summer shindig of your own. Read More


The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Iced Tea, Part I

By admin | April 26, 2012

Photo: drp

Photo: drp

By: Cyndi Amaya

With the warm weather approaching, many of us flock to our all-time favorite cold beverage- iced tea! But with all the sugar-laden powders and bottled iced teas out there, the iced tea we all know and love has turned into the latest unhealthy soft drink. If you read the label of these so-called “teas”, you may notice everything but actual tea leaves in it. From artificial sugars and preservatives to “fruit and tea essences,” the dangers of drinking these can actually outweigh the benefits.

When brewed properly, tea is actually one of the healthiest beverages you can drink since its rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. These are most potent when tea is freshly brewed and can ward off against the aging effects of pollution and help prevent cancer in the body. Those are only a couple benefits, even more include reducing your risk of health disease, building stronger bones and teeth, boosting your immunity and your metabolism to help you maintain a healthy weight. Plus, tea has less caffeine than coffee but can still help to keep you awake.

All that info is great, but you might be asking, how do I make my own iced tea? Making your own perfect iced tea is not as complicated as it may seem, yet not as simple as dipping a tea bag into a cup of iced water. The key to a perfectly brewed cup of tea is in the extraction. Read More


Best Juice Combinations for a Healthier You

By Allana Mortell | April 19, 2012

Photo: Food Thinkers

In the foodie world, juicing has quickly become the newest healthy habit around. Juice cleanses and juice bars are popping up everywhere faster than cupcakes shops and food trucks. The biggest positive from juicing comes from the fact you’re consuming optimal amounts of vegetables and nutrients in an efficient, straw-driven manner.

The Cancer Institute of America suggests we all have five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit every day.  With that said, given our busy lifestyles and the whole “fast-food” nation epidemic, it’s becoming more and more difficult to consume the proper amount of healthy nutrients every single day.

Once upon a time, smoothies had their big “moment,” and while the fruit-driven drinks are nevertheless a healthy option, the prevalence of juice bars and “green” drinks are momentarily outshining their fruity fro-yo counterparts.

Juicing, especially with organic, fresh and local ingredients, allows you to absorb all the possible nutrients vegetables have to offer. Read More


Street Food Focus: Bubble Tea

By Jeannette | March 16, 2012

Photo: FullyFunctnlPhil

Photo: FullyFunctnlPhil

By: Justin Chan

I’m always in Chinatown during the weekends (if you didn’t figure out from my last street food post), only because I have an addiction to playing basketball at Columbus Park, which is located at the corner of Mosco and Mulberry Streets. To get there, I’m forced to navigate through the tons of tourists that walk down Canal and Mott Streets. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing some of them stand aimlessly in the middle of the sidewalk and look as if they’ve just entered a foreign land.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself but wonder what makes the neighborhood so particularly appealing to these foreigners. Is it the row of roasted ducks that hang from the restaurant windows? Or is it just the idea that you can’t find this many old-school Chinese residents outside of Manhattan? Some tourists and local visitors will tell you that the answer is neither. In fact, they’ll tell you that they’re in the neighborhood only to buy bubble tea, a beverage craze (milk tea with tapioca balls) that has become increasingly popular in the past several years. Read More


Rye Not? A Rise in Rye Beer’s Popularity

By Michael Engle | March 16, 2012

Photo:Paul Narvaez

For a grain with such wide recognition in popular culture (from the folk song/nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” to the Don McLean rock anthem “American Pie”) as well as its status as an undisputed staple for New York delis (aside from the “marble” cousin, is there any other acceptable bread for a Reuben?), one would assume that rye’s potential has already been maximized.  However, as palettes and techniques have become more refined, rye has enjoyed a renaissance.  William Bostwick reported, in The Wall Street Journal, that it has become increasingly popular among brewers not just as an novelty flavor, but as a useful grain for accenting beers.

Even though rye whiskey distilling is a domestic tradition as old as the presidency, reportedly dating back to the 1790’s at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, VA estate, Americans have only recently discovered rye’s beer capabilities.   Read More


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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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