Top Chef Masters Winner Marcus Samuelsson Tells Us The Difference Between Women And Men In The Kitchen


Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Last night we caught up with Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Harlem’s Red Rooster and winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” Season 2.Samuelsson, a Swedish chef of Ethiopian descent, had teamed up with Planters to create some new recipes using the company’s newly launched peanut butter (we know, we also couldn’t believe that there wasn’t already a Planters PB).

Click here to go behind the scenes at a tasting with the Top Chef Master >
After unsticking our jaws we joined Samuelsson at the bar to talk about his 20,000 Twitter followers, the difference between men and women in the kitchen, and his favourite places to dine in New York City.

His condensed answers, and and a look at the night, follow.

His favourite place to dine in New York City:

If I’m in Brooklyn, I’ll eat at Roberta’s or at Frankie’s, and I’m happy. If I’m in the West Village, I’ll eat at August or here [Hudson Clearwater].

If I’m on the Lower East Side, and wanted to try WD50, it’s a completely different vibe. In the East Village I’ll try Angel’s Share, a bar.

On his burgeoning social media empire:

I’ve built my company around where the online conversation is centered. Food Republic is a platform for men, and is more of a female conversation, with a blog format.

To centre the conversation we use Twitter and Facebook. Community is at the centre of what we do — I come from a tribe that’s community centered, and communicating to that group online is a big part of that.

The difference between men and women in the kitchen:

Men talk about gadgets, and knives, and stoves and bourbon — how to be a man and how that revolves around food. On, it’s much more like, “after yoga you can eat this” — it’s more health-driven in a different way. We enter it differently.

Women can be more nurturing and health-driven, while men will say, “what was that wine I liked?” or “that’s a really great stove.”

Yes, that’s really him tweeting:

It’s a blend. All the bad pictures, that’s me; all the correct spelling, that’s my team. If there’s a typo and a bad blurry picture and it’s 11:30 at night, that’s definitely me.

How he really feels about peanuts:

They are African and very American at the same time. You can use them in many different ways, whether in a peanut soup or a steak sauce. They can be very basic, like in a brunch food, or they can be very sophisticated, like in a steak. They can even be dessert.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients you can really roll with all the way through, even all the way to the bar (as in a peanut bourbon that’s served at Red Rooster).

The restaurant, Hudson Clearwater is in an unmarked building in the West Village

Fortunately, this silhouette let us know we were in the right place

Inside, the sous chefs were hard at work

And the bartenders were pouring drinks. There was even a DJ

Big question of the night: smooth or crunchy?

We started with an African-inspired peanut soup and chicken skewers

Followed by steak and bass, both in peanut sauces

Breakfast for dessert, with chocolate-peanut butter pancakes and French toast

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