I know of Marcus Samuelsson from the Food Network show Chopped. Of course Mr. Samuelsson is an accomplished chef and restaurateur. Until recently, I didn't know that he was the recipient of several James Beard awards and a philanthropist supporting many great causes including C-CAP and UNICEF.
Mr. Samuelsson recently came to Seattle and hosted a book signing of his new book, Yes, Chef as well as a cooking demonstration and four course dinner at Palace Ballroom in Seattle. My husband and I were two of about 175 guests that enjoyed an evening of fun and good food.
After cocktails, appetizers, signing of books and food chatter among guests we were seated and entertained by Mr. Samuelsson as he talked about growing up in Sweden, life as a chef and his several restaurants around the world.
Mr. Samuelsson gave a cooking demonstration of the meal we ate and showed how easy it was to take ramen from the ordinary to the extraordinary and how to smoke fish on the stovetop. In between, he entertained us with stories of growing up, how he eventually ended up in the United States and cooking for the Obama's at a White House state dinner.
The highlight of my evening was meeting Mr. Samuelsson's content director. Talking with her gave me more insight of this celebrity chef where Mr. Samuelsson's passion for food extends far beyond a successful restaurateur. His philanthropy, his connection with his community, his involvement with the impact of food on our lives made me realize this man's focus on the culinary industry is so much more than owning successful restaurants. I believe Mr. Samuelsson to be a food steward of the world.
What we ate:
Tray passed appetizers:
..Gravlax, Purple Mustard over Pumpernickel
..Fried Chicken with Broth Shooters
..Warm Beef Tartare with Ayib (Ethiopian cottage cheese) over Toast
..Dashi Ramen with Poached Egg & Slow-Cooked Pork Belly
paired with Kan Nihon Kai Sake
..Hot Smoked Arctic Char with Apple Broth & Celery-Asian Pear Puree
paired with 2009 Domaine Bourillon Dorleans Vouvray Sec
..Chocolate Cake with Roasted Cherries
paired with Niepoort 10 Year Tawny Port