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Marcus Samuelsson

Fri, 05/09/2008 - 16:15
Submitted by renata_xatart
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Aquavit New York

Monday, September 15 2:30PM—3:15PM

Highlighting Swedish and African Cuisines Main Stage Presentation


Marcus Samuelsson Bio Born in Ethiopia, Samuelsson grew up in the care of adoptive parents in Sweden where he began cooking at a young age under the watchful care of his grandmother who was a professional chef. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France before coming to the US. In 1995 he was hired as the executive chef at New York’s Aquavit; just 3 months later, Aquavit received a 3-star review from The New York Times. Samuelsson received the James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef” sward in 1999, and “Best Chef, New York” in 2003. He was recognized in Crain’s New York Business’ annual “40 under 40,” and was celebrated as one of “The Great Chefs of America” by the Culinary Institute of America.

Known for many years as a wunderkind of Scandinavian cuisine, Samuelsson recently returned to the cuisine of his birth, publishing The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa in 2006, which received a James Beard Foundation award for “Best International Cookbook” in 2007. Samuelsson is the co-founder and chief creative director of Townhouse Restaurant Group, a restaurant management and consulting company with projects in the US and Europe, including New York City’s Aquavit, Riingo, AQ Kafé, and August, C-House (in Chicago), and formerly Merkato 55, an Ethiopian-focused restaurant in New York City’s Meatpacking district. He is the author of Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine, Aquavit c/o New York, En Smakresa med Marcus Samuelsson, and Street Food.

Samuelsson is the host of The Inner Chef with Marcus Samuelsson, a cooking series on the Discovery Home Channel that premiered in the fall of 2005, and in 2007, became the first chef to collaborate with Starbucks™ coffee to deliver bakery items and coffee blends.

Samuelsson serves on the board of directors of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), and is an ambassador for the US Fund for UNICEF. In 2005, Samuelsson was appointed visiting professor of International Culinary Science at the Umeå University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts, and received an honorary doctorate of culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in 2006.


Sea Urchin Flan with Dill-Crusted Watermelon
Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit – New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 30 2-ounce flans


Sea Urchin Flan:
• 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
• ½ cup white port
• 1¼ pounds butter, melted
• 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
• 4 ounces almond flour
• 13 ounces sea urchin roe
• 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon garam masala
• Salt
• White pepper
• Non-stick spray
• All-purpose flour for dusting

Dill-Crusted Watermelon: *
• Salt
• Watermelon, cut in ½-inch cubes
• Dill
• Nori powder
• Miso

*Adjust quantity according to preference


For the Sea Urchin Flan:
Preheat convection oven to 375°F with fan on ½-speed. Put shallots and port in a small pot and reduce over medium-low heat until just over an ounce of liquid remains; set aside to cool. Put butter, egg, yolks, and almond flour in the bowl of a mixer and blend on medium-high until smooth; add sea urchin and continue mixing. Add port reduction along with shallots until batter is a thick nappe consistency. Mix in vinegar, garam masala, and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside, keeping warm. Spray insides of 40 2-ounce aluminum cups until evenly coated; dust with flour and gently tap out excess (discard and replace any dented or un-evenly coated cups). Let cups rest for 5 minutes. Fill cups with batter to just below the bottom lip. Arrange 14 cups on sheet trays. Bake flan for three minutes; rotate tray 180° and bake 3 minutes more, until just set and pulling away from edges of cups. Transfer to plastic trays and cool in freezer; once cool, transfer to refrigerator.

For the Dill-Crusted Watermelon:
Sprinkle salt over watermelon and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine dill and nori in a 1:1 ration in a shallow bowl. Wipe off any excess salt from watermelon and and top each piece with a dab of miso; roll in dill mixture to coat evenly.

To Assemble and Serve:
Flip flan onto plate, tapping gently on bottom of cup to help release it. Arrange cubes of watermelon around flan. Serve immediately.

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