On a blistery night at Red Rooster in Harlem, New York, Marcus Samuelsson, the famed chef and media personality who runs several restaurants in New York City and beyond, has handed over his kitchen to visiting chef-owners Joy Crump and Beth Black of Foode + Mercantile, an eatery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Hosted by HEINZ’s Black Kitchen Initiative, world-renowned chefs like Samuelsson are empowering up-and-coming Black chef talent to take over their kitchens, unlocking unprecedented resources to support their businesses.
“It was such a special night celebrating Joy and Beth’s vision, and we got to be a part of that thanks to the HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative and its mission to help rising Black chefs through efforts like this Open Kitchen event,” Samuelsson shares with EBONY. The initiative provides up-and-coming Black chefs new opportunities, experiences, resources and exposure for their culinary businesses, which is currently one of the largest barriers to success in the American restaurant industry.
Specializing in elevated comfort cuisine, Samuelsson loved executive chef Crump’s pickled jumbo shrimp. “It was absolutely amazing,” he says. “I loved the entire menu, though, because it brought Joy and Beth’s Virginia flare to Harlem.”
Samuelsson is supporting female chefs throughout the Eastern seaboard. Chef Amaris Jones, Chick ‘N Jones owner and featured EBONY FWD chef, is the chef-at-large at Red Rooster Overtown, Samuelsson’s Miami-based location in the city’s historic Black neighborhood. “For Black chefs that have restaurants in Miami, which are many, sometimes people just don’t know that we’re here,” she shares. Collaborations with chefs like Samuelsson increase exposure for all.
Gearing up for the holidays, Samuelsson will be cooking with his son Zion. “It brings me so much joy,” he declares. “We cook a lot of sweet potatoes and pumpkins during the holidays. It’s fun putting our heads together to come up with different ways to use them. We love roasting and folding them into pancakes or mac and cheese.” The chef suggests incorporating pomegranates into your holiday menu. “They’re such a fun way to spruce up a salad or a rice dish.”
To keep from going overboard in the kitchen during the holidays, Samuelsson stresses that planning is key. “You should always think ahead and have dishes you can share,” he advises. Try prepping ahead of your festivities so meals can be easily popped into the oven ten minutes before guests arrive.
“I’ve found that for our family, the key to not stressing is to map out a combination of ingredient sources. [My wife] Maya will usually order our pantry items online several weeks in advance. Over the weekend, we’ll go to the farmer’s market as a family for our meats and fresh produce. Stock up early so that your essentials aren’t sold out!”
The post Marcus Samuelsson Is Celebrating Female Chefs at Red Rooster Harlem and Red Rooster Overtown appeared first on EBONY.