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Owner of a BlueStar 48” Freestanding Gas Range with a Griddle (RNB486GSS)

He Came, He Cooked | Press Room | Chef Tips

th review_tsunElizabeth Baird - Toronto Sun

Published: April, 2008



He came, he cooked, he won our hearts.

Elizabeth Baird - Toronto Sun Published: April, 2008 He came, he cooked, he won our hearts. There are some chefs who just naturally communicate with an audience. Marcus Samuelsson is one of them. To a standing room only crowd of foodies at Dish Cooking Studios in the Annex area, Samuelsson recently cooked up some of the signature dishes from his newly opened New York-based Merkato 55 restaurant.

Samuelsson has an interesting background. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden by adoptive parents, he learned the love of cooking from his grandmother. It was in her kitchen that he rolled his first batch of Swedish meatballs. And it was this Scandinavian-inspired cooking that he brought to New York and served in his restaurant, aptly named Aquavit.

But Samuelsson is not one to stand on his laurels. Already, at 36, named Best Chef in New York, his flavour palette is changing and he is revelling in the flavours of Africa.

Both his latest book, The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavours of Africa and his Merkato 55 restaurant focus on the lands of his birth, as did his demonstration last week. Using spice blends from his native Africa, he started with a little chicken satay served with a feta dip, then shrimps piri piri, followed by meatballs and then stir-fried beef to serve with Ethiopian injera bread.

For people who want to reproduce the kind of cooking they experience in restaurants or cooked by Samuelsson at Dish Cooking Studio, a regular home-style cook top or stove just doesn't deliver enough heat. BlueStar manufactures restaurant quality ovens, ranges and cook tops.

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