90. Marcus Samuelsson

Chef of Owner of Red Rooster, How To Creatively Reflect Your Community

90. Marcus Samuelsson

After a celebrated run as executive chef at Aquavit Restaurant, the Ethiopia-born Marcus Samuelsson performed gustatory magic in Harlem: In a neighborhood that didn’t have a chain grocery store until 1999, he’s built a spot both critically heralded and reflective of the area’s many cultures. “I bike and I walk every corner of Harlem, and see so much diversity that’s unexpected,” he says. Then he builds a menu around those encounters.



Gray text: Where Samuelsson biked to
Black text: What he was inspired to add to his menu


  • 1993

    Receives two three-star ratings from The New York Times (the youngest chef to receive one)

  • 2000

    Becomes UNICEF Ambassador

  • 2009

    First ever guest chef for the Obama administration, cooking the first state dinner in honor of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh; marries model Maya Haile

  • 2010

    Winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters season 2

  • 2011

    Hosts fundraising dinner at Red Rooster that was attended by President Obama; is named Best Dressed Male by Vanity Fair

  • 2012

    Becomes a reoccurring judge on Chopped