Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Marcus Samuelsson Group - Biography

New York, NY

October 2019

Born in Ethiopia, Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden cooking alongside his grandmother, Helga. After graduating from the Gothenburg Culinary Institute, Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France before immigrating to the United States.

In 1994, he took a position at Aquavit, rising to the role of executive chef and 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 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. Samuelsson was invited to cook the first State Dinner for President Barack Obama in 2009, and in 2010, he opened his first restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. He founded the Harlem EatUp Festival in 2015, a celebration of the food and culture of Harlem, and was named co-chair of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

Since opening Red Rooster, he’s co-founded the Marcus Samuelsson Group, now 31 restaurants strong spanning New York, New Jersey, Bermuda, Scandinavia, London, Chicago, and Canada. Samuelsson has written five more cookbooks, including 2016’s Red Rooster Cookbook, and a memoir. He’s appeared on both Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and as a regular judge on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Currently, he produces and hosts the PBS series “No Passport Required,” a show that explores the diverse cultures and cuisines in America.