When “Chopped: All Stars” came to a close on Sunday night, Marcus Samuelsson was the last chef standing.
The chef/owner of Harlem hotspots Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club on Lenox Ave. beat out Michael Symon, Penny Davidi and Jeffrey Saad to take home the title, as well as $50,000 for C-CAP, his charity of choice.
“It proved to be a really tough competition with some very talented chefs battling for the win, so I was incredibly happy to come out on top,” says Samuelsson, who also won “Top Chef Masters” in 2010.
He was especially happy for the kids who will benefit from his charity.
“C-CAP helps underserved high school students receive a culinary education. It is a wonderful program that I’m passionate about supporting, so it was a very special victory for me.”
Red Rooster and the newly opened Ginny’s, which sits underneath the restaurant, have changed the Harlem dining scene since Rooster opened in 2010.
The ever-packed eatery has held events for President Obama and welcomed diners like John Legend and Paul McCartney to the neighborhood.
Sunday night’s final competition for the Food Network show featured the contestants making appetizers from Chinese okra, Galia melon, pistachios and beef heart. The entrees had to feature rainbow chard, bonito, hard cider and couscous.
The judges, Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos and Anne Burrell, eventually chose Samuelsson over Saad in the dessert round. There, the chefs had to use panforte, pancetta, pink currants and crème fraiche.
Samuelsson made a pancetta chocolate crumble with coconut sorbet and candied pink currents.
“It’s the most elegant brownie sundae I’ve ever had,” gushed Freitag.
“What you accomplished in 30 minutes is extraordinary,” said Chris Santos.
“I can’t be prouder than I am right now,” said Marcus when host Ted Allen announced his win.
“This is one of the proudest moments of my life.”