How Many Restaurants Does Marcus Samuelsson Own?

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Marcus Samuelsson's story is truly one of rags to riches. Born in Ethiopia, the 3-year-old Samuelsson, his mother and sister, trekked 75 miles to a hospital to be seen for tuberculosis. After his mother died, Samuelsson and his sister were adopted by a family in Sweden, the now-famous chef recounts in his memoir, "Yes, Chef." 

While growing up in Sweden, Samuelsson developed a love for cooking. He gained experience in the culinary industry working as an adult in Switzerland, France, and then in New York City, according to his memoir. As a 24 year old serving as executive chef at New York City's Aquavit, Samuelsson was the youngest chef to earn a New York Times three-star rating.

Samuelsson proved to be ambitious and didn't stop at one restaurant. In addition to opening more businesses, Samuelsson also found fame through TV appearances. He has hosted "No Passport Required" on PBS and has competed on "Top Chef Masters" and "Chopped All-Stars", according to his website, Marcus Samuelsson Group

He is also committed to helping the world. Samuelsson has worked with UNICEF, according to Food Network, as well as Culinary Arts Program. During the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, Samuelsson's restaurant Red Rooster created and gave more than 200,000 meals to first responders and others who were in need, in collaboration with the World Central Kitchen organization, NPR reported. 

Restaurants around the world

It was from his flagship restaurant, The Red Rooster in NYC, that Samuelsson oversaw the creation of meals during the pandemic. Harlem is home for Samuelsson, he told NPR, but he also can't be without Sweden and Ethiopia in his life.

Samuelsson operates his restaurant empire out of Harlem, which includes 12 restaurants as of October 31, 2022, according to his website. Several of his restaurants are located in the U.S., namely Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Overtown, Ginny's Supper Club, and Streetbird.

Some of his restaurants have more than one location, such as Streetbird, which offers food up in Las Vegas, at Yankee Stadium in NYC, and in the Bahamas. Samuelsson also has created restaurants in Scandinavia, including in Sweden where he grew up.

Both Streetbird and Red Rooster are located in Harlem and through them, Samuelsson had created 200 jobs as of 2016, with the majority of them filled with neighborhood residents, reports USA Today.

Red Rooster offers a menu of comfort food, but its influence goes far beyond its dishes. According to Marcus Samuelsson Group, the restaurant highlights area artists, musicians, and culinary talent, and offers cooking classes and buys from local businesses. At Norda Bar & Grill (locations in Sweden and Norway), dishes are a play on local street foods in a casual atmosphere. The restaurant also serves seafood and meat.

Samuelsson's vision for his food continues to evolve as he experiences life, and that is reflected in his growing network of restaurants around the world.