Marcus was the guest chef for President Obama’s first state dinner at the White House, given in honor of Prime Minister Singh of India. There were 400 invited guests at the dinner.
Marcus Samuelsson is an internationally known chef, cookbook author, restaurateur and food activist. As executive chef at New York’s Aquavit restaurant, he was the youngest person to earn two three-star ratings from the New York Times andconsecutive four-star ratings from Forbes.
Marcus is the author of Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine, The Soul of a New Cuisine—A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa, and, most recently, New American Table. With this book, the chef examines local American farms and kitchens and how cooking in the United States is evolving.
New American Table has already been named Best Overall Cookbook by Epicurious and received a Special Jury Award from Gourmand. It was nominated by the IACP as Best American Cookbook.
It’s not surprising that Marcus is interested in American cooking. In his first two cookbooks, he investigated the foods of his unique heritage. Marcus and his sister were born in Ethiopia and when he was three, both were adopted by a Swedish family and were raised in that Scandinavian country. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, and apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France before moving to the United States, where he went to work at Aquavit when he was just 24 years old.
Marcus has opened Aquavit restaurants in Sweden and Japan and currently is developing Red Rooster, a restaurant that will celebrate the roots of American cuisine. The restaurant will be in Harlem in New York City.
He is a contestant on this spring’s Top Chef Masters on Bravo and has appeared on a number of television programs, including Iron Chef, the Martha Stewart Show, the Today Show, and his own television show, The Inner Chef on the Discovery Network. He recently teamed with AOL to create a web-based program.
The James Beard Foundation named Marcus Rising Star Chef in 1999, Best Chef: New York City in 2003, and awarded him the Best International Cookbook in 2007.
Marcus works with UNICEF to curb malnutrition and promote immunization for the world’s children.