Ethiopian-born, Gothenburg-raised and Harlem-settled chef Marcus Samuelsson took the flavors of his international past and infused them into his new memoir “Yes, Chef.” Nikki Ridgway gets the dish on what he cooks and eats where.
What do you eat when you’re craving a taste of your three homes?
For Sweden it’s herring — the perfect combination of salty and sweet. When I miss Ethiopia, doro wat, a spicy chicken stew served with injera bread, does it. And fried yard bird is my New York City go-to — I serve it at my restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem.
You cooked for President Obama at Red Rooster last year — were you nervous? Yes, very, but it went well. He loved the corn bread. It says a lot about someone who’s traveled all over the world and loves simple, humble food, I think.
What are your favorite restaurants around the globe?
In LA, it’s Mozza. There’s a great energy when you walk in. I also love the seafood-centric Son of a Gun — I’m going to guest chef there when I’m in LA for my book tour. In Stockholm I like places like P.A. & Co — small local brasseries with a real family vibe. In Ethiopia I always go to local kitfo restaurants where they serve warm beef tartare. And nothing beats Tokyo’s tempura restaurants — they cook with such precision so it’s light, crisp and just done right.