Marcus Samuelsson's Path To World-Famous Chef Is Inspiring

If you're looking for an inspirational story to perk up your afternoon, look no further than Chef Marcus Samuelsson. While Samuelsson was the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from The New York Times, how he became one of the most recognizable chefs in the industry is even more impressive, recognizes CNBC.

Samuelsson arrived to the United States with $300 to his name. The acclaimed chef was born in Ethiopia, and when he was very young, his mother fell ill and walked him and his sister from their village to a hospital in the country's capital city. His mother died from tuberculosis, but he and his sister survived, only to be separated from their extended family during Ethiopia's Civil War.

A Swedish couple adopted Samuelsson and his sister when he was three years old, per The History Makers. Watching his adopted grandmother Helga cook fed his passion for food, and her meals stayed with him as he went on to become a student at Sweden's Culinary Institute and enter the world of restaurants (via CBS News). After apprenticeships throughout Europe, the restauranteur eventually found himself working inside the kitchen of New York City's Aquavit, according to Forbes.

Committed to hard work and quality

Since his rise up the culinary ranks at Aquavit, Marcus Samuelsson has gone on to receive multiple James Beard Foundation awards, serve as chef for President Barack Obama's first State Dinner (via Forbes), is a frequent face on TV shows, and continues to oversee multiple restaurants that make guests feel at home. Talk about an inspiration.

"I wanted to work hard. I got a lot of work ethic from my parents and grandparents. I come from very humble beginnings. I was born in a hut, basically the size of two restaurant tables. And if I could [become a success], well, whatever your goals are, you can do it," Samuelsson told Forbes.

Samuelsson now owns a dozen restaurants in multiple continents. Can't make it to experience his award-winning hospitality for yourself? Read our exclusive interview to learn more about how Samuelsson incorporates his experiences into his menus and encourages at-home chefs to embrace culinary simplicity.