Thursday, June 10, 2010


The competition was heavy. Mr. Samuelsson was up against some of the countries best chefs: Executive chef at Spiaggia in Chicago (Obama's favorite hangout) Rick Moonen and Suser Lee to name a few of the top 12 chefs.

Born in Ethiopia, his mother died of tuberculosis when he was three. His birth name was Kassahun Tsegie. He and his sister were put up for adoption and a family in Sweden named Samuelsson adopted them. They changed their names to Marcus and Linda.

His adoptive grandmother loved to cook and it rubbed off. He attended the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden.

He came to the United States in 1991 as an apprentice at Aquavit restaurant in New York. By 24 years of age, he became executive chef.

Shortly after, he was the youngest chef to receive a 3 star restaurant review from the New York Times. In 2003 he was named Best Chef in New York City by the James Beard Foundation.

Last November, he served as guest chef for the first state dinner in Barack Obama's presidency.

And of course, he once competed on Iron Chef America against Bobby Flay and LOST. It was battle "corn".

Important to note that chefs competing for the title of Top Chef Master, win money throughout the competition for the charity of their choice. Marcus won $105,000 for his charity, UNICEF Tap Project which provides clean water to children all over the globe, notably in his native Ethiopia.

Today he owns:

Aquavit in New York City
C-House Restaurant in the Affinia Hotel in Chicago

So if you go there.....GO THERE!

Congratulations to Mr. Samuelsson


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