We finally crossed in a direct path with fellow Harlemite, Red Rooster owner and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. The quick exchange happened on the evening of November 30. Samuelsson and his stunning wife Maya were at the annual 2010 UNICEF Snowflake Ball. Samuelsson was, once again, overseeing the menu for the Ball, along with Wolfgang Puck, and was part of the live auction.
Our quick encounter was just that. We introduced ourselves to him and his wife and discussed proximity of where we live in Harlem. He then introduced us to his partner in Red Rooster and then we told him how excited we were for Red Rooster to open in Harlem. That was it! I guess I was a bit speechless because it felt like there were a gazillion people around him and his wife. Given that setting, I can confirm that the business partner, Marcus and Maya were absolutely nice and gracious. And of course, we have to comment on the appearance. Oh…what a sharp couple the Samuelsson’s make. They looked fabulous!
We also were able to sample the Red Rooster crab cake that was served to all the guests during the Ball. It was divine as well as the lamb chops. You will want to try the crab cake at Red Rooster once it opens along with the spicy chutney.
If you’ve ever wondered what the financial value is in hiring Marcus Samuelsson to cook you a private dinner, this story will give you some insight. During the live auction at the Ball, they offered a private dinner with Samuelsson, who would come to your home in New York City and cook for you and up to 12 guests. The bidding started at $15,000. The lucky person ended up purchasing two private dinners at $35k each. Good for them, but even much better for UNICEF. All the proceeds from the live auction go to charity.
After witnessing several individuals bidding high for our fellow neighbor, chef and Harlemite, all we could think about was how fortunate we are because we will have a short walk to 310 Lenox Avenue when Red Rooster opens! And hopefully, no bidding required to get a table!