Feast on This

A smorgasbord of ways to profit from your passion for food


He has prepared a state dinner for President Barack Obama and won the second season of Top Chef Masters, but those who have followed Marcus Samuelsson’s career know there’s more to the culinary star. The Ethiopia-born, Gothenburg, Sweden-raised chef has also hosted cooking shows, written cookbooks, designed a high-end range for BlueStar and footwear for MOZO, and signed deals with MasterCard, Macy’s, and American Airlines. He owns a restaurant in Sweden, with plans to open another there in 2012. And stateside, the Harlem resident owns three restaurants, including Red Rooster, which opened in the neighborhood late last year.

The Harlem restaurant was “a great opportunity to tell our tale as people of color,” Samuelsson says. “What would be better than the most iconic location for African American culture than Harlem? And then with that, I wanted to be on the most iconic street, Lenox Avenue and 125th Street.”

But before getting to that celebrated location, Samuelsson had to learn a few things. While only in his 20s, he became co-owner and executive chef of New York City’s Aquavit, a Scandinavian restaurant that existed years before he moved to the States. That didn’t happen by chance. When he arrived in the U.S. in 1995, he contacted three people: Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, and Hakan Swahn, the owner of Aquavit, who eventually became his business partner. “Whether I knew them or not, that’s how I function,” Samuelsson explains. “I believed that I can work very hard and I can add something. So I thought, ‘Well, if they partner with me, it’s good for them.’ I just needed one to get back to me.” Swahn and Samuelsson have since created Townhouse Restaurant Group, a New York City-based restaurant management and consulting company.

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  • Angel

    Ryan, it is so GREAT seeing your heart for God, and spnaedirg His truth whether it is at LBCCS or elsewhere. I’m sure that over the last two years at LBCCS that you have been a big encouragement to people, but I am also totally convinced that as you move on into what God has for you in the future, that you will continue to be a GREAT blessing and encouragement to those who cross your path.

  • Bthina

    Wow, I can’t even find the words to express how tochued I am. I absolutely love it! The story you created through these photographs and the composition in which you have presented them has tochued my heart and once again I have counted my blessings. Not only have I thanked God for the blessing of my family shown in these pictures but, also for my family that made these beautiful images possible. Thank you, T2 and Sarah. However, Sarah IS in the pictures which I think is very cool!!!!!!! We love you both!

  • Yulie

    Ma’m, I’m new in cooking benagli food for my husband & as im living in australia, mostly i call my mom back in Bangladesh for any kind of recipes,instructions. but as im a born hindu married to a christian (Foriegner who seems to love the bangladeshi cooking style!!), my mom cant help me out with beef recipes (Not that she knows i cook beef at home haha) anyway i was looking online for a beef liver bhuna recipe for the last 3 hours & only now I found ur blog & I have a feeling this will b very helpful! thank u so mch for blogging these wonderful recipes here & a special thanks to ur children who help u put these recipes on ur blog.Best wishes,R