Tonight on an all-new Food Network special, Savoring Harlem, Chef Marcus Samuelsson leads us on a mouth-watering culinary tour of this iconic New York City neighborhood, showcasing the food culture of long-time staples like Sylvia’s as well as his own 18-month-old restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem.
This afternoon, Chef Samuelsson, a Chopped judge, Next Iron Chef competitor and Harlem resident, answered questions from our Facebook fans. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights:
Alison Guyette: What would you recommend to eat in Harlem if just visiting for a few days?
Marcus Samuelsson: Charles’ pan-fried chicken, and of course, Red Rooster Harlem. :)
Kate Gold: Marcus, I love watching you on TV! How did you first get introduced to Harlem?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Kate Gold When I first moved to NYC, I made an effort to explore all the different neighborhoods and Harlem automatically drew me in because of its rich history.
Paula Bowling Brock: What is the difference between soul food and Harlem cuisine? Or is there a difference?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Paula Bowling Brock There’s a big difference, it is soul food but not in the typical Southern-roots sense of the word; the food in Harlem comes from all over the globe.
Darryn James: Marcus, what is your favorite food of all time?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Darryn James My favorite is my wife’s doro wat and my grandmother Helga’s meatballs.
Kathryn Fajardo: Since you have lived in Harlem, where are your favorite places to eat besides Red Rooster? I like Sylvia’s and Melba’s.
Marcus Samuelsson: @Kathryn Fajardo I love the lamb sandwich at Les Ambassades.
Kathryn Fajardo: Maestro Marcus, thank you! I will visit Red Rooster soon for some fried chicken and waffles and jazz. And I’ll be sure to check out your recommendation at Les Ambassades.
Mark Scully-Smith: How has the food renaissance affected the historical perceptions of Harlem?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Mark Scully-Smith Great question! Right now there’s a food revolution going on in Harlem. Young chefs are moving here, young entrepreneurs are opening businesses, restaurants, bars, lounges, artisanal butcher shops, etc. People are really buzzing about Harlem and the amazing choices that we have to choose from.
Leeann Smith Cravens: I see you got an original Rooster menu for a present. How long have you owned Red Rooster Harlem and what is your favorite dish?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Leeann Smith Cravens It has been open for 18 months but it was a concept eight years in the making, since I first moved to Harlem.
Steve Dean: Who is your biggest cooking influence?
Marcus Samuelsson: @Steve Dean My grandmother Helga and chefs like Lea Chase, who broke the ground for diverse dining.
Don’t forget to tune in tonight for Chef Samuelsson’s special, Savoring Harlem, premiering at 8pm/7c.