The Multi-Cultural Story of Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson has been on the scene for years but his star just seems to be getting brighter and brighter while giving credit to his unique international upbringing in Ethiopia, Sweden and Harlem, NY.

His birth name is Kassahun Tsegie.  After his birth mother died in a tuberculosis epidemic when he was three years old, Kassahun Tsegie and his elder sister, Fantaye,were adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson, a homemaker and a geologist, who lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. The siblings’ names were changed to Marcus and Linda Samuelsson. They also have an adopted sister, Anna Samuelsson. Samuelsson’s biological father, Tsegie, is a priest and father of eight of the chef’s half-siblings; he still lives in the Ethiopian village where Samuelsson was born.

Samuelsson studied at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, where he grew up, apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria, and came to the United States in 1991 as an apprentice at Restaurant Aquavit. At 24, Marcus became executive chef of Aquavit, and soon after that became theyoungest ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times.

Samuelsson has restaurants in Harlem(The Red Rooster) Gothenburg,Sweden(Norda) Costa Mesa and Chicago (MarcBurger) and more.  See Review of Red Rooster.

Click here to see Chef Samuelsson’s Honey Roasted Duck Recipe

Check out his Grandma Helga’s Swedish Meatball Recipe

Samuelson talks about the influence of Ethiopia, Sweden and United States on his Life.