Who is Marcus Samuelsson?
Marcus Samuelsson is a critically acclaimed chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, philanthropist, and food activist. Besides, his most recent restaurant, the highly lauded ‘Red Rooster Harlem’, was launched in December 2010 in New York City.
Profile of Marcus Samuelsson
|Full Name||Kassahun Tsegie|
|Popular As||Marcus Samuelsson|
|Birthdate||25th January, 1970|
|Place of Birth||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
|Profession||Chef & Restaurateur|
|Race / Ethnicity||Ethiopian Swedish, Swedish Americans|
|University||The Culinary Institute Of America|
|Age||52 Years Old|
|Eye color||Dark Brown|
|Height||5’11 (180 cm)|
|Parents||Lennart Samuelsson (Father) & Lennart Samuelsson (Mother)|
|Siblings||Fantaye (Linda) & Anna|
|Spouse||Maya Haile (m. 2009)|
|Children||Zoe Samuelsson & Zion Mandela|
|Net Worth||6 Million USD|
Marcus Samuelsson is a famous Ethiopian chef as well as restaurateur. Presently, he is the executive chef at renowned Red Rooster Harlem restaurant. In addition, he also owns and operates a number of other restaurants in the United States and Sweden.
Early-life, Education & Family Background
Marcus Samuelsson was born in rural Ethiopia as ‘Kassahun Tsegie’ on January 25, 1970. Unfortunately, his mother died of TB when he was two years old, leaving him orphaned. Moreover, Kassahun and Fantaye, his older sister, both suffered tuberculosis. Fortunately, they recovered and were adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson, who relocated them to Gothenburg, Sweden. Accordingly, Marcus and Linda were the adoptive parents’ given names, and they have an adopted sister named Anna.
Marcus had a pleasant upbringing, even though the racial slurs flung at black children in his little Swedish village were difficult to bear at times. He was a soccer fanatic. When his family spent their summers in Smögen, Sweden, he also enjoyed catching fish and cooking and preserving food.
Likewise, after graduating from Gothenburg’s ‘Culinary Institute,’ he worked as an apprentice in Switzerland, Austria, and France. Eventually, he relocated to the United States in 1989.
Representing His Ethiopian Heritage
Marcus and Linda’s biological father resided with Samuelssons’ eighteen half siblings in his hometown. In the year 2000, he bonded with his biological father and traveled to Ethiopia to meet his half siblings. Some of these relatives’ education is supported by him financially.
Interestingly, Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and had his training all around Europe. Meanwhile, his father warned him as a child that building a career in the restaurant sector as a black chef from Africa would be tough, and it was.
Apparently, he was forced to prepare for the dog by one chef, and he was regularly abused in a languages. Despite this, he persisted. And, because of the city’s diversity, New York has caught his heart. It’s also where he met his future wife. He enjoys learning about new foods, and the meals at ‘Red Rooster’ exemplify the cross-cultural blending.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Journey to a Professional Chef
Marcus Samuelsson learned to cook alongside his Swedish grandmother. Samuelsson started as an apprentice at the Swedish restaurant ‘Aquavit’ in New York in 1994 and worked his way up to executive chef. In just a few months, the restaurant was awarded three stars by ‘The New York Times.’ He was the youngest chef to ever receive a 3-star rating the following year, at the age of 23.
Samuelsson progressed from a wunderkind of Scandinavian cuisine to a culinary explorer who dug deep into his own roots over time. During his visit toEthiopia, he learnt about berbere spice mixes and how to prepare flat, spongy injera bread. He eventually published ‘The Soul of a New Food: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa,’ a cookbook about African cuisine.
Marcus also serves on the bоаrd of directors at ‘Сіtу Наrvеѕt аnd Саrееrѕ Тhrоugh Сulіnаrу Аrtѕ Рrоgrаm’. Moreover, since 2000, he has been a UNF ambassador and co-founder of the Three Goats organization.
In 2009, he served as a guest chef at the White House for President Barack Obama’s first state banquet. The supper was mostly vegetarian in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In the dishes Samuelsson used vegetables and herbs from the White House Garden to imitate Indian flavors.
Similarly, in 2010, Samuelsson launched ‘FoodRepublic.com,’ a website “for those who want to eat and drink well, and live smart”. Likewise, in December of that year, he inaugurated his own restaurant, ‘Red Rooster,’ and the basement speakeasy, ‘Ginny’s Supper Club,’ serving varied American roots food.
In one of New York City’s liveliest and most culturally rich neighborhoods, his famous restaurant honors the origins of American food. Iron Chef, Chopped All-Stars, Top Chef Masters, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, The Martha Stewart Show, the Today Show, and his own Discovery Network show, The Inner Chef, have all featured Chef Samuelsson.
Samuelsson is a Visiting Professor at the ‘Umea University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts’ in Sweden, where he teaches ‘International Culinary Science.’
He serves on the board of directors of the ‘Careers Through Culinary Arts Program’ in New York City and is an ambassador for the United States Fund for UNICEF.
Samuelsson’s Philanthropic Works
In 2011, US President Barack Obama attended a fund-raising event at ‘Red Rooster.’ The charity event held to promote the ‘National Democratic Party’ was a success, with $1.5 million raised.
Since 2012, he has been a part of the ‘Kitchen & Table’ restaurant concept, which is supported by the hospitality giants ‘Clarion Hotels.’ He assisted in the opening of the first restaurant at Arlanda Airport and is currently working on projects in Sweden and Norway.
He competed in Bravo’s ‘Top Chef Masters’ television series in early 2010. He won the competition and received $115,000 for UNICEF’s ‘The Tap Project,’ a grassroots initiative. Furthermore, his is associated with UNICEF for a project which focuses on immunization and malnutrition for children around the world.
As a Cookbook Author
The prominent chef is also the author of a number of critically acclaimed cookbooks. Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine (2003), Discovery Of A Continent: Foods, Flavors, And Inspirations From Africa (2007), New American Table (2009), Yes, Chef: A Memoir (2013), Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home (2014), Make It Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life (2015), and The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem (2016) are some his books.
Honors & Achievements
Samuelsson has earned numerous honors as well as awards for his accomplishments. Marcus was also a guest chef at the White House under the Obama administration, when he prepared and executed the first state dinner for the first family, Indian Prime Minister Singh, and 400 guests.
While Marcus has received numerous awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, including “Rising Star Chef” (1999), “Best Chef: New York City” (2003), and “Best International Cookbook” (2007), he maintains humility when it comes to the art of cooking.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Personal-life & Relationships
As regards to his personal life, Samuelsson is married to his long-time lover Gate (Maya) Haile. In fact, his spouse Gate is a fashion model. Besides, both Samuelsson and Haile was born in Ethiopia and raised in Europe. The couple got married in a private ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2009. Currently, the pair has two children, Zion Mandela and Zoe. At present, they live in a renovated brownstone near Red Rooster in New York’s Harlem district.
As of 2022, Marcus Samuelsson is 52 years old. He stands 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall and weighs 75 kilograms.
Social Media Handles of Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus is accessible on his personal Instagram handle where he has over 625k followers.
Net Worth of Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson is one of the most well-known chefs in America. Through his successful career as a chef and restaurateur, he has amassed a sizable fortune. As of 2022, Marcus has an estimated net worth of more than $6 million.
Besides, he is thе оwnеr оf mаnу rеstаurаnt аnd hotel all асrоss the United States. Further, he also earns money by appearing on a variety of TV programs and food shows, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Taste, Another Round, and others.