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Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and trained in European kitchens, Marcus Samuelsson is a world citizen turned American culinary icon—the youngest chef ever to receive three stars from the New York Times, a five-time James Beard Award recipient, a winner of Top Chef Masters, and a judge on Chopped. He was even chosen to cook President Obama’s first state dinner.
In Marcus Off-Duty, the chef former president Bill Clinton says “has reinvigorated and reimagined what it means to be American” serves up the dishes he makes at his Harlem home for his wife and friends. The recipes blend a rainbow of the flavors he has experienced in his travels: Ethiopian, Swedish, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern soul.
With these recipes, you too can enjoy his eclectic, casual food—including Dill-Spiced Salmon; Coconut-Lime Curried Chicken; Mac, Cheese, and Greens; Chocolate Pie Spiced with Indian Garam Masala; and for kids, Peanut Noodles with Slaw . . . and much more.
“Highly recommended for adventurous and well-traveled home cooks, as well as fans of Susan Feniger’s Street Food.” —Library Journal
Travel to Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and you will find a truly diverse, multiracial dining room - where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, bus drivers and nurses. It is also a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can finally feel at home.
Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister, all battling tuberculosis, walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later they were welcomed into a new family in Göteborg, Sweden. It was there that his new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food - from a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up.
He made his way to the US via some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, taking in some gruelling stints on cruise ships before becoming executive chef at Aquavit in New York, where at the age of 24 he became the youngest chef ever to be awarded a coveted three-star rating from the New York Times. His profile has only continued to grow from there - he's cooked state dinners for Barack Obama, runs seven restaurants including the phenomenally popular Red Rooster in Harlem, and has appeared on numerous television shows including Top Chef Masters, which he won, beating 21 world-class chefs in the process. His profile is set to rise internationally as his reputation grows, and as his incredible story is told.
Publication coincides with the opening of Samuelsson's first international outpost of Red Rooster in Shoreditch, London, May 2017
Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists.
When Chef Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, he envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighbourhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way.
The Red Rooster Cookbook is much more than a collection of recipes. It’s a love letter to Harlem shown through the people, music, soul, and food. Marcus’ Ethiopian and Swedish upbringing converge with his Harlem-American present to give readers a culinary clash of dishes to try, all mirroring the menus at his much loved neighbourhood restaurant Red Rooster.
Recipes range from the restaurant’s Deviled Eggs with Chicken Skin Mayo, Obama Fried Ribs, Whole Fried Fish with Grits, Curried Goat Stew, Sunday Tomato Eggs, and Uncle T’s Meatballs. He reinvents traditional home comfort foods like macaroni cheese and Swedish meatballs with exciting twists and new flavour combinations, placing them centre stage at the dinner table.
Marcus dedicates the book, “To the people of Harlem, especially the generation before mine who cared, restored and fought for uptown, to make sure Harlem would be a special neighbourhood in the greatest city – a place I am lucky to call home.”
Full of heritage and culture, music and love, this is far more than just a cookbook.