Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Marcus Samuelsson Group - Biography
New York, NY
Born in Ethiopia, Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden cooking alongside his adoptive grandmother. After graduating from the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France before finally coming to the United States.
In 1995, he was hired as the executive chef of New York’s Aquavit, earning three stars from The New York Times. Four years later, he was James Beard’s “Rising Star Chef” and in 2003 “Best Chef, New York City.” Samuelsson evolved from the wunderkind of Scandinavian cuisine (at a time when Nordic didn’t carry nearly as much cache) to a chef exploring his roots through cuisine. The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa received a James Beard Award for “Best International Cookbook” in 2007.
Since then, He's co-founded the Marcus Samuelsson Group, now 10 restaurants strong spanning New York, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Bermuda, and Sweden, including Red Rooster Harlem. Samuelsson has written two more cookbooks, a memoir, founded FoodRepublic, and even produced an an app: Big Fork Little Fork. He’s appeared on both “Top Chef” and as a regular judge on “Chopped.” Philanthropist Samuelsson is an ambassador for UNICEF and serves on the board of Careers through Culinary Arts Program and StarChefs.