Samuelsson, Renowned Chef Opens New Harlem Restaurant

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[Byrd's Eye View]

This is the name of the new restaurant by Internationally acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, who has been wowing the food scene for some time now, first at the fabulous Aquavit in Mid-town manhattan. Red Rooster is located at 310 Lennox Avenue, also known as Malcolm X Blvd.

I was one of the lucky few to be invited to a tasting event at the beautiful space recently. Everything I sampled was mouth watering and filled my palet with many flavors leaving me wanting more. My favorite has to be the fish tacos; they were absolutely perfect!

I sat down with this culturally and artistically inclined Chef during the event. For me it was really important to put us in the conversation of great restaurants--people of color, and what better place to do than Harlem, where it has always been the center of Black culture on Lenox on 125th. That's what inspired me," he told me. "I wanted the people of Harlem to have a fabulous restaurant to go to. We have always had Silvia's and Lennox Lounge and we now have something contemporary for us."

The Chef touched on the fact that Harlem is world wide known and that he expects his customers to come from all over also parts of manhattan, New Jersey and The  Bronx, and beyond.

The offering is an American comfort food menu; so there really is something for the entire family to choose from. Samuelsson told me the menu was inspired by the old Harlem as well as the new Harlem. "East of here there's a big Latin community, so we have things like Binada and fish tacos; we also have fried chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese and so on," he elaborated, making it difficult to take notes as my mind wandered away to the foods. "We also have a roasted salmon, something that's fresh, contemporary, traditional and represents the new Harlem."

He explained that it was difficult building and planning in the middle of the recession. It wasn't easy; we are facing an economy that will rebound but is also taking its time to recover. However The Chef very much believes in Harlem and is proud to be bringing many job opportunities to this community. "These things are very important to me, and if you build something affordable people will come," he said.

The entire evening was a delight. There were special guest such as Cicely Tyson and there was a performance by the fabulous recording artist Chrisette Michelle along with other guests. I was fascinated by the beautiful elegance of design inside the restaurant space. It's definitely a place where you can take the family or go on a very nice dinner date with someone special.

Chef Samuelsson was recently honored as a guest chef at the White House where he planned and executed the administration's first State Dinner for the first family, Prime Minister Mohandas Singh of India and 400 of their guests. I wonder if Michelle Obama also tried the FishTacos?

Samuelsson has been featured on Iron Chef, Martha Stewart, The Today Show, and has his own T.V. show called The Inner Chef on the Discovery Network. The Chef has recently teamed up with AOL to create

As a Harlem resident I'm personally extremely excited about this new venue. Beautiful historic Harlem welcomes diners with open arms.

Fashion & Entertainment Editor Shavaughn Byrd can be reached at  Please also see  

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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