Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Marcus Samuelsson Group - Biography

New York, NY

September 2017

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” award 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. He married his wife, model Maya Haile, in 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 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, in 2010.

Since then, he’s co-founded the Marcus Samuelsson Group, now 14 restaurants strong spanning New York, Bermuda, Scandinavia, and now London with the 2017 opening of Red Rooster Shoreditch. Samuelsson has written three more cookbooks, including 2016’s Red Rooster Cookbook, and a memoir. He has appeared on both Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and as a regular judge on Food Network’s “Chopped.” 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) in 2015.