We chat with chef Marcus Samuelsson about his love for Harlem, summer jams, and his new audio cookbook series.
portrait of celebrity chef marcus samuelsson
Photography by Matt Dutile
| Credit: Photography by Matt Dutile

Marcus Samuelsson is a Harlem institution: The celebrity chef opened the popular Red Rooster Harlem restaurant in the historic New York City neighborhood nearly a decade ago. To honor the nabe, Samuelsson just launched Our Harlem, a seven-hour Audible Original series that expands on his Red Rooster Cookbook with recipes, real-time cooking lessons, and a guided food tour through his hood, all padded out with a cast of local characters, musical performances, and more. 

What inspired the series? 

It's a new way of experiencing the neighborhood and the cookbook. The Red Rooster is more than just a restaurant—it's part of the community so we're letting the community tell its story. To hear from the people who are really in and of Harlem is amazing. 

Can you tease some guests? 

We've got really inspiring guests: [fashion designer] Dapper Dan, [restaurant owner] Melba Wilson, [the first African American mayor of New York City] David Dinkins. Some even roll up their sleeves with me in the kitchen. 

What are your favorite summertime dishes? 

Grilled vegetables are great—using produce that is peaking in summertime already makes the food that much more flavorful. Grilling tastes like summer. 

The series features a lot of music. What is your go-to summer jam? 

"Feels Like Summer" by Childish Gambino has a Marvin Gaye vibe that I really love.