Chef Marcus Samuelsson tells us about his globetrotting life and how for him food and hospitality is all about creating a community.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, chef Marcus Samuelsson has achieved massive success in the US, where he runs a string of restaurants and presents cooking show No Passport Required. He tells us about his globetrotting life and how for him food and hospitality is all about making a community
With 12 restaurants across New York, Chicago, Montreal, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Bermuda and London and a second season of his TV series No Passport Required by Eater and PBS imminent, chef Marcus Samuelsson has cooked for everyone from Paul McCartney to the Obamas. Born in Ethiopia, he moved to Sweden at a young age, and after France, Switzerland and Japan, his passion for community brought him to Harlem. We spoke to him about his life working around the world and how when you’re landed in a new culture, food becomes both a focus for identity and a great way to relate to the world around you.
You’ve travelled a great deal. How has that shaped you?
One of the luxuries of having been an immigrant so many times is that you have to almost take a normal structure out, you’ve just got to connect. And to do that as a young, black male four or five times as I have had to do, it trains and shapes you for something. It actually can give you an advantage. If you have to connect with someone who doesn’t speak the language or you’re in a foreign place, it almost takes all the noise away and you just go for it.
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