How Marcus Samuelsson's Restaurants Make You Feel At Home

Marcus Samuelsson's list of achievements is impressive, recognizes Forbes: He was the guest chef for former President Barack Obama's first State Dinner, owns restaurants all over the world, makes frequent appearances on cooking shows, and has written several cookbooks (including his New York Times bestselling memoir "Yes, Chef"). Samuelsson was the youngest restaurateur to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times and was listed, notes Bravo TV,  by the Culinary Institute of America as one of the Great Chefs of America and the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. Samuelsson has won eight James Beard Foundation awards and, per his website, is a philanthropist committed to feeding those in need, encouraging underserved youth, and supporting Harlem's EatUp! Festival.

Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, adopted, then raised in Sweden before arriving to the United States as a chef-in-training. He was 24 at the time, and his experiences stayed with him as he stepped into the role of sous chef at Swedish restaurant Aquavit (via CNBC). Inspired "by the diversity of food options" in New York City, Samuelsson wanted his first restaurant, Red Rooster in Harlem, to reflect the community he had been closely observing.

Samuelsson's restaurants are inspired by the neighborhoods where they are located

"We embrace today's Harlem with a spirit of inclusiveness and community by hiring our family of staff from within the community, inspiring better eating through neighborhood cooking classes, and buying from local purveyors," Red Rooster states. Though diners may first be interested in the food inspired by Samuelsson's multicultural background, they soon learn that Red Rooster has a uniquely welcoming environment, observes Vogue; Samuelsson didn't just establish a restaurant, he built a "supper club–slash–artists salon" for local musicians, artists, foodies, and thinkers.

"My personal style, like the style of my restaurants, takes inspiration directly from my surroundings," Samuelsson told Gotham. Taking a similar approach for his most recent endeavor, Hav + Mar, Samuelsson aims to express the creative energy of Manhattan's Chelsea District, serving as a "celebration of the Chelsea community." When devising the concepts of his restaurants, Samuelsson thinks about how they can best serve the immediate community, which is why many diners may feel especially at home at his eateries. Per Hav + Mar's website, opening is slated for this fall, and fans may be eager to see how Samuelsson once again welcomes diners with open arms.