Macy's Culinary Council
“You should eat based on a spiritual compass,” Chef Marcus Samuelsson enthused to his audience, beaming as he salted and spiced a slab of brisket. His belief in the connection of food to a person’s story shone through in his cooking demo at Macy’s on State Street in Chicago on March 8. As part of Macy’s Culinary Council, Samuelsson has the opportunity to travel across the country, sharing his recipes, philosophy, and experiences.
Attendees at the demo were treated to three dishes from Samuelsson’s cookbook Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. The Chopped judge served up fish tacos, spiced brisket with barbeque sauce, and curried lobster stew.
Samuelsson was a lively presenter, keeping up a stream of stories as he prepared his dishes. He asked the audience for recommendations on restaurants to try and debated who has Chicago’s best barbeque – his vote went to Lem’s Bar-B-Q on the South Side.
The demo became interactive when he got to the lobster curry. He passed around lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, letting the audience breathe in the potent aromatics. One brave woman came up to witness up close as Samuelsson demonstrated how to prepare a live lobster. That lobster was then served to two lucky gentlemen, topped high with curry.
“Food is very similar to music – it has to hit your gut, hit your heart, and evoke emotion,” said Samuelsson. Sharing the way his own food has progressed because of his memories and experiences, he expressed the importance of teaching others how to create their own food story through the Macy’s Culinary Council. “Cooking is a way of having a conversation,” he said. “If you don’t know how to cook, you aren’t taking part in that dialogue.”
For more on Marcus Samuelsson, his recipes, and the other chefs on the Macy’s Culinary Council, visit macys.com/culinarycouncil . Keep up on their events by following @CulinaryCouncil on Twitter.