Famous Culinary Maestro. Author. Changemaker. Humanitarian. Marcus Samuelsson wears many hats in addition to the chef’s cap that he’s mostly widely known for. As a board member and huge supporter of Careers through the Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which exposes at-risk and underserved high school students to careers in the restaurant industry, as well as through the numerous other causes he champions, he has demonstrated himself to be a true Renaissance Man. And of course, fittingly, there is his still-hot restaurant in Harlem, The Red Rooster.
OCEAN Splash caught up with Marcus at Macy’s Dadeland in Miami to ask him about food, travel, multi-tasking, and if we’ll ever get a Caribbean outpost of any of his famed eateries.
So this is so exciting that you’re doing a cooking demo at Macy’s here in Miami! When did you join the Macy’s Culinary Council and why did a partnership with Macy’s feel like a fit to you?
I’ve been part of the council for over ten years. Working with Macy’s gives me the best opportunity to share my food with people outside of New York who are excited about cooking and learning new flavors.
In addition to being a member of the Macy’s Culinary Council, you are also a board member and big champion of C-CAP, attend numerous galas and benefits and I often see you at Red Rooster either in the kitchen or on the floor greeting patrons. How on earth did you find time to write your New York Times bestselling book, “Yes, Chef: A Memoir”?
It was a six year process. I spent a lot of time writing, planning and then rewriting as my journey changed. I try to carry a notebook with me in case I find myself needing to write.
You stay busy! What do you do to relax?
I like to go for a run in the park, sit in my backyard and grill with my wife and friends or travel.
Many of our readers like to unwind with a drink after work. Have you tried any new wines or other drinks that you’d recommend to them?
Recently, I’ve been into white sangria. It is so refreshing and satisfying and great for summer weather.
I had the pleasure of meeting your beautiful wife Maya in midtown last year. Where did you two go on your last vacation and where do you think you’ll go on your next one?
We were in London and Paris earlier this spring and we will be doing a lot of travel over the summer.
Speaking of travel, I’m sure our readers want to know, do you have any plans in the works to open up a restaurant in Miami, or the Caribbean? The Jerked Rooster, perhaps?
I don’t have any plans at the moment, though I do love the idea. I did just open a pop-up restaurant in Bermuda at the Hamilton Princess and will be opening a permanent location there in 2015.