By Jon Schuppe
MANHATTAN — Fans of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson have been speculating for a while that man who cooked for President Barack Obama’s first White House state dinner would be opening a restaurant in his adopted neighborhood of Harlem.
Now, it appears that it’s actually happening.
Earlier this month, Samuelsson was listed as a contestant in the new season of Top Chef Masters with his affiliation as “The Red Rooster, New York, NY.” That got the rumor mill churning, and a day later, he answered with a post on his Twitter account that said, “Yes, opening Red Rooster in Harlem later this year.”
This week, Samuelsson told the New York Times that the restaurant would be called Red Rooster Harlem and that it would be opening in the fall near 125th Street.
The Samuelsson parlor game has since turned to where exactly the restaurant will be located. Locals are scoping out sites that seem to fit the description.
Samuelsson, 38, was born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and has lived in Harlem for about five years. He first got famous as the executive chef at Acquavit in Midtown East.
He is now the quintessential celebrity chef. In addition to running two restaurants, one in Chicago and another in Sweden, he has written several books and makes frequent television appearances. He’s also served as a guest chef for President Obama.