Chef Marcus Samuelsson approaches cooking and life without boundaries

by Terry B on July 21, 2010

The USA Character Approved Blog has now officially launched! For my first post-soft launch post, I’m profiling chef Marcus Samuelsson.

marcus-samuelsson_delia

For many of us, Marcus Samuelsson first appeared on our radar screens when he was chosen to cook the Obamas’ first White House state dinner last November. But the accomplished young chef had already made quite a name for himself. At age 24, he was named co-owner and executive chef of New York’s Aquavit, transforming the Swedish restaurant with his willingness to use distinctly non-Swedish ingredients such as curry and lemongrass. And he is the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times.

Samuelsson comes by his global approach to cooking naturally. He was born in an Ethiopia village. When he was three, his mother died of tuberculosis, and he and his sister were adopted and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden.

To find out more about how Samuelsson became a chef and came to adopt New York as his home—and how he finds time to help children around the world, through UNICEF and other organizations—read my full profile at the USA Character Approved Blog.

And while you’re there, check out some of the other writers. Each week, you’ll find articles on  architecture, art, design, fashion, film/TV, music, social good/giving, technology/new media and writing (well, and pieces on food and occasionally drink, written by me).

USA Network created the Character Approved initiative to celebrate the people, places and things that are transforming the American Cultural landscape. The Character Approved Blog is an outgrowth of USA Network’s annual Character Approved Awards that pay tribute to the innovators who are influencing our opinions, our style and our view of the world.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

altadenahiker July 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Will definitely check out the article. I’ve heard he’s quite the talented, interesting chap. Didn’t know he was so handsome, though.

Terry B July 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Altadenahiker—He is, isn’t he? When I was talking to his publicist to get photos for the piece, it was really charming the way she was commenting on his good looks—not as a selling point to me for using them in the article, but in pure admiration.

Randi July 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

That’s a sweet gig you have there!

Terry B July 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Randi, I should probably say something about all the hard work, etcetera, but you’re right. It really is being fun to explore food stories beyond my own kitchen and recipes.

Laura [What I Like] July 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Terry, I was wondering when this was going to be up and running, so excited to check it out! Excellent subject for your piece I must say, did you catch his run on Top Chef Masters by any chance?

Terry B July 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Thanks, Laura! Alas, Marion and I are possibly the last people in the Western Hemisphere who don’t have cable, so I didn’t see it. I should check it out on Hulu.

Dani H July 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I’m happy to hear that your USA Character Approved Blog has now officially launched. I was wondering when you’re going to post a photo of yourself over here? ;-)

I will join your cable-less club. (Ironic that you are writing at the USA cable network site.)

RisaG July 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Marcus has been around a long time. He has written a couple of cookbooks and he had his own tv series on Discovery tv a few years back. He is a wonderful chef. He has a really interesting background and he seems very personable. I see him on other shows at times like Top Chef. He is wonderful.

Terry B July 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for stopping by, RisaG. It’s always gratifying when someone who makes it big is genuinely a nice person, isn’t it?

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