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Mon, 01.25.1971

Marcus Samuelson Chef, and Restaurateur born

Marcus Samuelson

*Marcus Samuelsson was born on this date in 1971. He is an Afro Swedish (Black Swede) chef and restaurateur. He is the head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, New York.

Born Kassahun Tsegie in Ethiopia. His father, Tsegie, is an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church priest. His mother died in a tuberculosis epidemic when he was a year old. He and his elder sister, Fantaye, were separated from their family during the turmoil of the Ethiopian Civil War in 1974. Subsequently, the siblings were adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson, a homemaker, and a geologist, respectively, who lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. The siblings' names were changed to Marcus and Linda Samuelsson. They also have an adopted sister, Anna Samuelsson. His biological father still resides in the Ethiopian village where Samuelsson was born.

After becoming interested in cooking through his maternal grandmother in Sweden, Samuelsson studied at the Culinary Institute in Göteborg (Gothenburg), where he was raised. He apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria, then came to the United States in 1994 as an apprentice at Restaurant Aquavit. Samuelsson has released New American TableThe Soul of a New CuisineMarcus Off Duty, and The Red Rooster Cookbook.  

In 2012, Samuelsson released Yes, Chef, a memoir co-written with journalist Veronica Chambers about Samuelsson's early life and trajectory to becoming a chef. The book gained favorable reviews and won the James Beard Foundation award for Writing and Literature related to food. After the success of Yes, Chef in 2015, Samuelsson published Make it Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life, aimed at young adults. Samuelsson serves on the board at City Harvest and is co-chair of the board of directors for the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

He has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2000 and is the co-founder, along with his wife, Gate of the Three Goats Organization. Samuelsson is a soccer (football) fan and an avid supporter of Arsenal F.C. Samuelsson is married to the model Gate (Maya) Haile. Their wedding was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They live in Harlem. They have a son, and Samuelsson has an adult daughter.

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