Reporting Liam Mayclem
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Chef Marcus Samuelsson is an internationally acclaimed chef, author and philanthropist. Chef Samuelsson is the author of several award-winning cookbooks and the forthcoming memoir, Yes, Chef. Among his many accolades, Chef Samuelsson is the youngest chef to ever achieve two three-star reviews from The New York Times and he has been honored by the James Beard Foundation on multiple occasions including “Rising Star Chef” (1999), “Best Chef: New York City” (2003), “Best International Cookbook” (2007) and “Best Television Program” (for Chopped – 2012). In 2010, Chef Samuelsson beat out 21 fellow chefs on the second season of the television competition Top Chef Masters on Bravo, winning $115,000 for the UNICEF Tap Project.
- Chef Marcus Samuelsson
In December 2010, Marcus opened Red Rooster Harlem, later earning two-stars from The New York Times.
Other recent accolades Chef Samuelsson has achieved include being tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner; hosting the President at his own restaurant; and being named on the “International Best Dressed List 2011” in Vanity Fair magazine.
In March, 2012, Chef Samuelsson opened Ginny’s Supper Club in the space underneath Red Rooster Harlem.
Chef Samuelsson is also committed to charitable endeavors, including C-CAP, Careers through Culinary Arts Program. In May of 2012, Chef Samuelsson won $50,000 for C-CAP when crowned Chopped: All Stars champion.
On a visit to the Bay Area recently Marcus took time out for a chat with Foodie Chap. He was guest Chef at Camino Restaurant in Oakland with Chef Russell Moore. We discussed his life journey from adopted child of Ethiopia to celebrated chef in New York. It’s all in his memoir “Yes Chef”. If the food of Marcus Samuelsson moves you “Yes Chef” will move you more. The book is a revealing look at a man who found his voice through food. Upon returning to his homeland Ethiopia he found his father and a family he didn’t know. His story is a delicious one brimming with flavour; it comes to a boil, simmers and sits with you for days.
SF Chefs 2012 launches this week in San Francisco’s Union Square and Chef Marcus Samuelsson will be there.
5 Tasty Questions with Chef Marcus Samuelsson
1. What are your words to live by?
2. Who was the chef you uttered the words “YES CHEF” to?
Probably Chef Jorgen at Tibloms in Gothenburg, the first professional kitchen I worked in.
3. In your next life if you are something other than a chef what would you be?
Teaching soccer to kids on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
4. On the soundtrack to your life name one song and one artist?
Definitely a tough question because there have been so many artists that resonate in my life. But one song would have to be Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross”–it’s so raw and spiritual like a gospel song. One artist is hands down Bob Marley.
5. Last supper, you may have three guests, dead or alive, famous or not. Who would they be and what would you eat?
My guests would be my mother, grandmother Helga and my father. Can I add Bob Marley to that list too? We would start with a platter of lox and herring, have Helga’s meatballs, and finish with Ethiopian coffee with a bit of butter floated in it.
Mac and Greens
1 package whole wheat orecchiette
1 stick butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups rice milk
1/2 pound low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 pound parmesan, freshly grated
1/4 pound gruyere, shredded
1/4 pound light crème fraiche
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
Salt and white pepper, to taste
2 1/2 tablepsoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1/2 cup parsley, washed and dried
1/4 cup basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 cups cooked Collard Greens
1. Preheat oven to broiler setting at 375 F.
2. Cook the orecchiette per the package’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a stock pot, and sauté shallots until caramelized then stir in flour. Add garlic, rice milk and continue to stir until flour is dissolved and there are no lumps. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low then add all cheeses, including crème fraiche. Whisk until cheeses are melted and incorporated into the sauce.
5. Mix in nutmeg, mustard powder, salt and pepper.
6. Toss pasta together with sauce and greens and transfer to a baking pan.
7. In a food processor, blend panko, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper until fine.
8. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the pasta and place in oven. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.
6 bacon slices
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
4 cups (about 6 ounces) very thinly sliced collard greens (about 2 bunches)
4 cups (about 1-1/2 pounds) very thinly sliced bok choy (about 2 heads)
1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, and crumble into small pieces. Set aside.
2. In small saucepan, bring the coconut milk and soy sauce to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and crumbled bacon. Set aside
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large straight-sided pan over low heat. Add the garlic, and slowly toast until pale golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Be careful not to let it burn). Lift the garlic out of the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Add the collard greens and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens start to wilt. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and cook for about 20 minutes, until the greens are tender and the sauce has thickened.
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