Tee’s Night Out: Cooking with Macy’s Culinary Council Chef Marcus Samuelsson
One thing that people may not know about me is that I love to cook. I’ve been watching Food Network since I was a little girl, and I always practiced the recipes that I saw. So it’s no surprise that I’m also the weirdo who has a favorite chef. Yup! Regular people have favorite singers, actors, athletes; I on the other hand fan girl over people whose food I’ve never actually tasted but just know in my heart it’s the best thing ever.
When I saw my favorite chef, Marcus Samuelsson, post on Facebook that the Macy’s Culinary Council would be presenting a special cooking demo in Atlanta this past Friday, I knew I’d be in the building. I started packing my bag with my copy of his Yes, Chef
memoir and Marcus Off Duty
cookbook on Wednesday night (because autographs, duh).
And I must say the event was definitely a treat and a celebrational culture.
It opened with a poem by Saul Williams
(really dope by the way). Then we were delighted with a performance from W.A.F.F.L.E.
dance crew– which took me back to my New York days when crews would dance on the subway for change.
Of course my favorite part of the whole event was the food. Please forgive me for not having pictures, the only thing I was thinking about was eating. To compensate for my slacking on the food photos, here’s a live demo he did for one of the dishes we ate.
One thing I admire about chef Marcus (aside from the amazing food of course), which was also reflected in the event, is his intentionality about incorporating Black culture, African culture into everything he does. We ate meatballs seasoned with berbere (Ethiopian spice mixed), were entertained by the Red Rooster band and W.A.F.F.L.E.
dance crew, and I even got a little lesson in African food history. I asked him if he thought African cuisine could become as mainstream as others and he schooled me, check out a bit of his response below:
Every year Macy’s celebrates Black History Month
with events around the country. I really appreciate their dedication to producing these events. Not only is it an opportunity for all of us to learn about diversity and black history (which is honestly American history), it provides an experience that some could only dream about. There were young people in the building who I’m sure were inspired by seeing a face that looks like theirs teaching, sharing and opening them up to new flavors and opportunities.
If you asked me if I thought I’d be eating from a celebrity chef for free, I’d tell you ____ (because I don’t curse y’all) no! But I was afforded that opportunity and so much more. I even walked away with a signed copy of Marcus’ newest cookbook, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem
. I can’t wait to get started on a few of these recipes. I’m thinking a really fancy Harlem-Esque dinner party is in my near future.