Come Join Countee Cullen as we continue our cook book series with The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food by Marcus Samuelson.
An Eater Best Cookbook of Fall 2020 • This groundbreaking new cookbook from chef, bestselling author, and TV star Marcus Samuelsson celebrates contemporary Black cooking in 150 extraordinarily delicious recipes.
It is long past time to recognize Black excellence in the culinary world the same way it has been celebrated in the worlds of music, sports, literature, film, and the arts. Black cooks and creators have led American culture forward with indelible contributions of artistry and ingenuity from the start, but Black authorship has been consistently erased from the story of American food.
Now, in The Rise, chef, author, and television star Marcus Samuelsson gathers together an unforgettable feast of food, culture, and history to highlight the diverse deliciousness of Black cooking today. Driven by a desire to fight against bias, reclaim Black culinary traditions, and energize a new generation of cooks, Marcus shares his own journey alongside 150 recipes in honor of dozens of top chefs, writers, and activists—with stories exploring their creativity and influence.
Black cooking has always been more than “soul food,” with flavors tracing to the African continent, to the Caribbean, all over the United States, and beyond. Featuring a mix of everyday food and celebration cooking, this book also includes an introduction to the pantry of the African diaspora, alongside recipes such as:
• Chilled corn and tomato soup in honor of chef Mashama Bailey
• Grilled short ribs with a piri-piri marinade and saffron tapioca pudding in homage to authors Michael Twitty and Jessica B. Harris
• Crab curry with yams and mustard greens for Nyesha Arrington
• Spiced catfish with pumpkin leche de tigre to celebrate Edouardo Jordan
• Island jollof rice with a shout-out to Eric Adjepong
• Steak frites with plantain chips and green vinaigrette in tribute to Eric Gestel
• Tigernut custard tart with cinnamon poached pears in praise of Toni Tipton-Martin
A stunning work of breadth and beauty, The Rise is more than a cookbook. It’s the celebration of a movement.
I feel like I have been cooking all my life. Growing up, my sisters Anna and Linda and I spent summers in Smögen, on the west coast of Sweden. Every morning I went fishing with my dad, Lennart, and my uncles. We caught crayfish, lobsters, and mackerel, and often smoked and preserved the catch. My grandmother, Helga, would gather us in the kitchen to teach us how to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam. These experiences taught me to love and appreciate fresh and local food.
My other window into food came from my relatives and my father, Tsigie, in Ethiopia. Spices are the key element driving taste in Ethiopian cooking. In Ethiopia, food is often viewed through a strong spiritual lens, more so than anywhere else I know. I appreciate my Ethiopian roots because I see how hard people have to work there to survive, and I understand just how fortunate I am to live in this country. I am inspired by the way the people of Ethiopia lead their lives, and how everyone tries to help one another in the community. Their drive inspires me to work as hard as I can to take the knowledge I have about food and to share it with those who want to learn how to prepare fresh, affordable meals.
New York City feels so much like home I almost feel like I grew up here. I love all the diversity that this city has to offer. I love meeting new people and learning about different cultures, because this helps me expand my knowledge of different foods, spices, and techniques. Different sounds and colors influence the way I design a dish. The creative process is always fun for me, whether in food, art, music, writing, or fashion. I’m heavily influenced by music and art, and whenever possible, I take those experiences and place them in my creations.
My mission with each project – whether it be a new restaurant, book, or TV show – is to celebrate the food, the culture, and hopefully inspire others to be adventurous, learn something new, and get cooking!