It's a gray day in New York City, but up in Harlem at Red Rooster, the flagship restaurant of world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson, a bright energy fills the room, much of it radiating from the man himself. A winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, a judge on Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America (among others), the owner/operator of 15 restaurants and author of seven books, including the digital cookbook Our Harlem, Samuelsson (with a little help from his team) arranged a Lunch at Michael’s-style lunch with Jack Myers and me at what has become in its nine years of operation a definitive Harlem landmark. Remarkably, he still manages to spend “about half my time” in the kitchen, he said. “It’s about connecting with the three levels of communities; the staff, the purveyors and our customers. In a great restaurant all three are lined up and connected. You don’t have to say a lot. It just happens.”
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