You’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.
Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and American Table Cafe and Bar by Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus is the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times. He was also tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. Marcus has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards, including Best Chef: New York City and most recently in the category of Writing and Literature for his recent memoir, Yes, Chef. But what you may not know about Marcus is that if he didn’t become a chef, he might have become a professional soccer player. Find out more about Marcus in his Q&A below.
What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Marcus Samuelsson: Buckwheat — I’m allergic!
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
MS: Probably any frozen TV dinner
What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
MS: That’s easy: El Bulli, with Ferran and Albert, after spending a great day driving from the city.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
MS: A great hamburger
Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
MS: General Tso’s chicken
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
MS: My cast-iron pan
If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
MS: Pro soccer player
What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
MS: Most recently it was Barcelona and Los Angeles
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
MS: An ice cold IPA
What’s one must-have at your last supper?
MS: Great company and music
Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
MS: My wife!
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Tea
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? What the heck are jimmies?