Marcus Samuelsson, Chef, Red Rooster, New York, Harlem, Manhattan, Marc Burger, Chicago, Illinois, IL, Where to eat in New York, where the chef’s eat, Chef Recommendations, Brooklyn, Washington, DC, Ethiopian, Swedish, Sweden, New Orleans, Baltimore, Markets, London, Addis, Los Angeles, Japan, Beer, Ethiopia

Q & A




310 Lenox Avenue

New York, NY 10027 (view map)

T: 212.792.9001 (make a reservation)





166 East Superior Street

Chicago, IL 60611 (view map)

T: 312.523.0923 (make a reservation)



American Burgers

Multiple Locations

Macy’s State Street

111 North State Street

Chicago, IL 60602 (view map)

T: 312.781.2955

Macy’s South Coast Plaza

3333 Bear Street

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

T: 714.708.3333, ext. 3601




Normalm / Central Plan

Stockholm Central Station

111 20 Stockholm, Sweden (view map)

T: +46/(0)8.613.6372




Q. Your new restaurant Red Rooster Harlem is American-focused. What from the USA’s melting pot will be featured?

A. Everything from fried chicken to grilled barbecue pork, collard greens, fish tacos and a good old burger. We’re going to have items like lox available and that, for me, represents so many different communities in contemporary America.

Q. Will you honor the history of Harlem in any way?

A. Absolutely - the whole inspiration of Red Rooster comes from looking at Harlem in its past and present. This is evident from our cocktail program to the dishes that have been served in the community for decades.

Q. What attracted you to the neighborhood?  

A. There is a sense of history in Harlem that is known worldwide, as well a sense of mystery. It’s exciting to be a part of its second renaissance.

Q. You’re involved in many philanthropic organizations. I imagine you get pitched often to get involved, how do you choose which ones you’d like to be associated with?  

A. Very often, so I like a connection to food, children or both.

Q. Congratulations on your Top Chef Masters victory. What surprised you the most about your experience?  

A. The great camaraderie we chefs had with one another and the LA food scene is fantastic.

Q. What surprised you the most about yourself?  

A. You don’t realize it before taping starts but once you’re there, you really get competitive and want to win.

Q. Is there a spice or ingredient you think Americans should be more familiar with? And how would you recommend using it?

A. One of my favorite spices is berbere, a chili blend from Ethiopia. It’s wonderful to use as a rub on lamb or on skewers on a grill. It’s even great with a little olive oil and vinegar as a vinaigrette on a salad.

Q. My most sage advice for home cooks is...

A. If you invite people over to your home for a meal, cook something based on your family’s heritage. Your friends always want to learn a little more about you and what could be a better way for them to do so than through food.



Q. What food purveyors inspire your creativity, which products, and why?

A. My inspiration comes from people, the markets, speaking to farmers and artisanal cheesemakers. There’s a guy that delivers peaches from West Virginia to the Harlem farmers market every weekend they’re open – he inspires me. Goose Island beer is also inspiring, their craft beers are great.

[See details.]

Q. Are there food markets around the world that you love, specifically which ones, and what should we look for at them?

A. I love London’s Borough Market.

In Addis, the Merkato.

In Los Angeles, I love Central Market.

And in Tokyo, the Tsukiji Fish Market.

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Q. Who else in your field do you think deserves more praise and why?

A. I think Leah Chase [Dooky Chase] in New Orleans. She’s been in the business since the 40s, opening one of the first integrated restaurants in the country and she’s still cooking. She’s a chef, restaurateur and is still going more than 50 years later, despite Katrina and every other hurdle she’s experienced.

[See details.]



Q. What are the iconic Swedish dishes one should have when visiting Sweden and what restaurants can you recommend for us to go to to have these dishes?

A. F12 and Mathias Dalgren in the Grand Hotel are all great restaurants. Their menus constantly change but if you want iconic dishes, gravlax and meatballs are the way to go.

[See details.]

Q. Any restaurants in Sweden that are super local and what should we order?

A. Super local depends on where you are in Sweden. I’m big on markets, so if you’re in Gothenburg, you should go to the Fish Church and try the herring. If you’re in Stockholm, you have to visit Östermalmshallen.


Q. What are iconic Ethiopian dishes one should eat when visiting Ethiopia?

A. Kitfo, doro wat, injera and coffee.

United States

Q. Are there authentic Swedish restaurants in the US worth visiting and what should we order?

A. Aquavit is definitely authentic and great. The herring plate is fantastic and definitely stop by during the festivals like Herring and Crayfish Weeks. Don’t forget to try the house-infused aquavit.

[See details.]

Q. Any authentic Ethiopian restaurants in the US that you really like?

A. The best one is Dukem in DC and order the doro wat.

In New York, Queen of Sheba. I love to order the kitfo. It reminds me of visiting my wife's home village.

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Q. For killer food that won’t break the bank?

A. Mamoun’s have fantastic falafels.

I also love the banh mi sandwiches at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery in Little Italy and beef patties in Harlem.

[See details.]

Q. Elegant and great for a special occasion?

A. WD-50 is fun and great.

Breslin is elegant in my eyes.

Le Bernardin is a really elegant place to check out.

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Q. Off the beaten track?

A. Lenox Lounge in Harlem, it’s in my neighborhood.

Also, Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn.

[See details.]


Q. Where do you go for food that you find yourself craving?

A. Koreatown [West 32 Street] - the kimchi you can buy in the stores, to noodle shops, to more higher end places.

[See details.]




Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine (buy it)

New American Table (buy it)

The Soul of a New Cuisine (buy it)


Marcus Samuelsson’s recommendations on where to eat and shop around the world.


Details of Marcus Samuelsson’s recommendations on where to eat and shop around the world.