289: The Rise – How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected the Restaurant Industry and Celebrating Black Culture in American Food with Marcus Samuelsson

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An image of food on a plate and the title of Marcus Samuelsson's episode on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'The Rise.'

Welcome to episode 289 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Chef Marcus Samuelsson about his experience in the restaurant industry during the COVID–19 pandemic and how he is celebrating Black culture through food.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Allea Grummert about marketing your blog to your email list. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

How the COVID–19 Pandemic Has Affected the Restaurant Industry and Celebrating Black Excellence in American Food 

Marcus Samuelsson is a chef, an immigrant, a restaurateur, and an author, and he’s here to talk about the restaurant and food industry and Black food culture in America.

You’ll first hear about his experiences as a restaurateur and how he has essentially had to start from scratch and reinvent himself during the COVID–19 pandemic. Food is a way that we communicate with and relate to one another, so the pandemic is creating some unique challenges in the restaurant and food industry.

Then he talks about Black food in America and how we can learn and grow in our understanding of Black culture through food. He’ll encourage you to do the work and immerse yourself in the incredible foods and dishes that celebrate Black culture, as well as share the story of his new book, “The Rise.”

A quote from Marcus Samuelsson’s appearance on the Food Blogger Pro podcast that says, 'Our food cannot be monolithic when our journeys are so different.'

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How his life has changed since the beginning of the COVID–19 pandemic
  • What World Central Kitchen does
  • Why he felt ready for a challenge like a pandemic
  • When he knew he wanted to be a chef
  • The origin and story of his new cookbook, The Rise
  • How to participate in Black experiences


If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

Learn more about joining the Food Blogger Pro community at foodbloggerpro.com/membership

Transcript (click to expand):

Alexa Peduzzi: Hey there, and welcome to The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. My name is Alexa and I’m part of The Food Blogger Pro team, and we are so excited and honored to have you listening to the show today. So today’s episode is one that I am especially excited about being a Food Network fan and just a general food fanatic, and that’s because chef Marcus Samuelsson is on the podcast today. If you’re not familiar with Marcus, he is a chef, an immigrant, a restaurateur, and an author, and he’s here today to talk about the restaurant and food industry, as well as black food culture in America.

Alexa Peduzzi: So first you’ll hear about his experiences as a restaurateur and how he has essentially had to start from scratch and reinvent himself during the COVID–19 pandemic. Food is a way that we communicate with and relate to one another. So the pandemic has really created some interesting and unique challenges in the restaurant and food industry.

Alexa Peduzzi: Then he talks about black food in America and how we can learn and grow in our understanding of black culture through food. He’ll encourage you to do the work and immerse yourself in the incredible foods and dishes that celebrate black culture. And then he’ll share the story of his new book, The Rise. It’s a great episode, and we’re honored to have Marcus on the podcast. So without further ado, Bjork, take it away.

Bjork Ostrom: Marcus, welcome to the podcast.

Marcus Samuelsson: Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here.

Bjork Ostrom: Excited for you to share a little bit about your story. You found a quiet room in the restaurant. You are in the mix of it. It’s amazing to hear those B roll clips in the background of you finding a spot.

Bjork Ostrom: I want to rewind the tape a little bit to go back to February, that last week of February. In your author’s note of your most recent book, The Rise, you have an extremely moving author’s note covering a lot of different things. But one of the things you talk about is that last week in February, when all of this, the reality of COVID, was setting in. Was there a specific moment that you remember thinking, “This is real and it’s going to have a huge impact?” And what was that moment?

Marcus Samuelsson: Well, I don’t think I’m necessarily out of that moment because I don’t think COVID is in the past. It’s very much in the present. And if 2020 has taught me one thing, it’s the uncertainty, living through uncertainty. I’m extremely privileged and lucky, the fact that my wife, my son, and I are healthy.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Marcus Samuelsson: And what’s made me think that I didn’t think about the first thing when I woke up before. But now always look over, “Okay, where is he? Where is she? Are we good?” And then you go on with your day. And so I take stock in a completely different way. And I also feel and think about gratitude in a completely different way. So it’s definitely changed my thought process and made me more humble.

Marcus Samuelsson: But then, also, it made me think about how many people in the world that live with that uncertainty, if you’re a refugee, immigrant, if you’re moving from place to place. And it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. It can be you moving jobs, from one part of the country.

Marcus Samuelsson: So there is something there that I’m processing that I think I’m going through. Those days in February, I was scared. I was upset. Why is this happening? I couldn’t fundamentally understand it. But March 15, my friend, José Andrés, he actually talked to me two weeks before and said, “You have to be part of World Central Kitchen.” I was like, “Shit, yes, chef, I will.” But just knowing that, didn’t know that it would be something that would be a major part of my life and change of trajectory. March 15, we started to close Red Rooster, to open as a community kitchen, and March 15th to October 15th, we served 220,000 meals.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s interesting. I followed along in your book, and on the cover on the inside tag, it says 150,000. And then there’s a point on your Instagram where you say 200,000. Today, 220,000. That number just keeps going up and up. I’m interested to hear … You touched on it a little bit.

Bjork Ostrom: Throughout this year, you had to reinvent your restaurants. And it also sounds like you had to reinvent, in some ways, yourself. Do you think those are happening in tandem? Was one ahead of the other? What did that look like as both things, it sounds like, were having some pretty significant evolutions?

Marcus Samuelsson: Well, I think about that from two points. If I think about that idea from 30,000 feet, it sounds exciting. Here I am in mid career and I have the opportunity to reinvent myself. And then, in five years I might be able to talk about it from that point of view. Right?

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Marcus Samuelsson: But I also didn’t feel those things. I didn’t want to become bitter. It took me 25 years to build what we built, the restaurants, and it took two weeks to break down.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Marcus Samuelsson: So I always asked myself, how can it take two weeks to do that? What have I done that I haven’t built enough doors to keep that open? So it wasn’t just COVID. It was also forced me to think what type of net have I built.

Bjork Ostrom: And what do you mean by that, when you say net? Can you describe that?

Marcus Samuelsson: Well, one of the blessings of being black and one of the blessings of being an immigrant is that you’re constantly challenged. You’re constantly dealing through the fog of biases against you. So I feel very much geared up for a challenge like this. I have to pivot. I’ve been an immigrant six times in my life before I was 25 years old.

Bjork Ostrom: It was familiar.

Marcus Samuelsson: It was familiar. I had to make it work in Japan as a kid. I had to make it work in France as a kid. But this was bigger than that. This was wasn’t just me. When I did those things, it was me and my roommate, or whatever, and we were going against everybody. But now it was 180 employees at Red Rooster. There was 90 employees in Miami. And it was my family.

Marcus Samuelsson: So these challenges were larger and the questions that I had to ask myself were bigger, and it was a puzzle that, yes, I’ve navigated through it, not with everything intact. We had to close a lot of restaurants. It hurt a lot of people. But on the emotional side, I’m still going through it. I am not on the other side and I just want to be there honest to you because I don’t want to sit here and act like, “Yeah, we’re great.” Because we’re not.

Marcus Samuelsson: I’m very passionate; I’m sure you are very passionate about everything that you’ve built. So there’s a professional side and a personal side, and on the personal side, we’re going through it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It feels like 25 years of shoveling coal into the engine of a train, and a year ago today, it was probably at the maximum speed it’s ever been going for your career: TV shows, books, restaurants, acclaim in multiple different ways. And some of those things don’t go away. There’s a legacy piece. There’s your work that exists in the world, but some of them do, especially the restaurants.

Bjork Ostrom: And there is just the reality of that existing. And then there’s also the reality of working through that in your head, which it sounds like that’s a piece of what you’re processing. And I think one of the most important things for anybody who is building something in the world, what are the tools that you’ve started to assemble, or maybe already had from your 25 years, immigrating to different six different places in your life?

Bjork Ostrom: What do you think were some of the tools that you had developed that would be helpful for other people to know or be aware of? Advice, I guess, would be kind of the broad category, but more specifically, gratitude was an example; others that you can think of?

Marcus Samuelsson: Yeah. Absolutely. I feel I can share the upside and the downside. So the upside is that I am completely passionate about everything in my field. It is my field and has never bored me, not one day. And the fact that we can always evolve in it and even COVID has forced us to evolve and think about it in a different way. And that is fascinating by itself, and I’m here for that. What I want my son and the next generation to do is to diversify. So I bet everything on food. If this would be Vegas, I bet everything on that red button food.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah.

Marcus Samuelsson: When you’re 24, you don’t start thinking about your 401k. Maybe I should have. I probably should have invested in a different way, maybe more in real estate and all of this stuff. But my field is also not a field that yields a lot of net profit. It’s a field that you get a lot of joy from. You have incredible camaraderie, and you have other takeaways from the journey that is amazing. But in order to get on the other side, a lot of my friends and I should have, could have, diversified earlier, and that’s something that I now need to think about.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. So my dad is an art teacher and he’s a potter, and in our backyard we have a ceramic studio and a kiln.

Marcus Samuelsson: Beautiful.

Bjork Ostrom: And so, part of my frame of reference in the world is art. And I think what you do is the ultimate manifestation of art. And I think in order to be the greatest artist you can be, in some ways, you have to have reckless abandon towards that. And I think the story of your career is one where when you look back at it, and moving forward this will be true as well, but there’s impact from the art that you’ve created in the world in a very real way.

Bjork Ostrom: What advice do you have for other artists? And maybe it is diversification, but what advice do you have for other artists who want to manifest their art in the greatest way in the world, but also to have maybe that safety net? I think of John Cage, I think was the composer, who was an insurance agent full time, and then he was this famous composer as well, doing these radical songs. But that, I think, seems kind of soul sucking to the artist in some way. Where do you stand on that right now?

Marcus Samuelsson: I agree with you. To be the fullest creative, you have to run your race your way. But I also think as society, safety means very different things. I’ve come from, on the outside looking in, one of the safest places in the world in terms of structure and so on, Sweden. But I do think each one has to figure out what that thing is. Like not only did I bet on it as a chef, but also coming as an immigrant means also you’re not connected to institutional money the same way. You don’t have access to generational wealth, and I’m not-

Bjork Ostrom: You don’t have a network that’s pre-built-in.

Marcus Samuelsson: No, and I’m not one to complain. I’ve been extremely lucky and fortunate.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Marcus Samuelsson: And I’ve been able to push through. I’m just saying being an immigrant is just not a line. There’s stuff that comes with that. Strength of you can move anywhere, but then there is another side, and when you have a time like COVID, it makes you think about all of these things. And I think that safety or diversifying in terms of how you build things … I’ll give you an example on a very high level. And I think has to do with the artistry.

Marcus Samuelsson: Lenny Kravitz also has a design company. Not because Lenny Kravitz needs to make that money from the design company, but there’s another outlet for him, clearly about expression, right?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Marcus Samuelsson: And I always look at my books, not from the monetary, but it’s part of my process. I look at TV as part of my … When I do No Passport Required we probably lose money, but I don’t care because it’s part of my process of searching for my curiosity. So we all have to build in the ways that make sense for you.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. No Passport Required, for those who aren’t familiar- Usually what we do, Marcus, is we do kind of like, “Hey, tell us a little bit about your story.” My assumption in this interview is that because we are speaking to food people, they will know your story, but I also don’t want to glaze over it.

Bjork Ostrom: So, No Passport Required, obviously near and dear to your heart. You’ve referenced it a few times. We could do hours and write books on your story and your steps along the way. For those who aren’t familiar, can you give them maybe a taste of that as an introduction into The Rise and this book. For those who aren’t familiar, your story is rich and layered, and would be interesting if you could share that.

Marcus Samuelsson: Yeah. I mean, I was born in Ethiopia. I was born in a small village called Addis Ababa. My mother, my sister, and I, we had to relocate when I was small child, and we got adopted. She died. We got adopted. So this idea of the worst that can happen to you actually became a different projector in my life, which I actually took it as a strength during this moment of COVID. Even if I was a kid, but I’ve been around something that was traumatic and navigated with the help of others, of course.

Marcus Samuelsson: And grew up in Sweden where my grandparents, my parents, my uncles, very much, we were around food. Like my grandmother’s only the way of communicating was through food, I would say. She said very little. She cooked a lot, and we got to cook with her, which was amazing.

Marcus Samuelsson: And then, when I wanted to become a chef, there was a mentor of mine that said- I grew up in Gothenburg, which is the second biggest city in Sweden, but for culinary and if you had real ambition you had to go to Stockholm, and I felt like, “Well, if I have to go to Stockholm, I might as well go to Prague.” And I got a scholarship. I went to Japan as a teenager; I worked. I worked in France at a three-star Michelin. I worked in Switzerland, and Austria.

Marcus Samuelsson: And then eventually I came to America. And when I started to work in America, I started working at Restaurant Aquavit, became a chef at 23 and just got this incredible writeup from Bruce Rice, he gave use three stars in the New York Times. And I really feel like-

Bjork Ostrom: Youngest ever.

Marcus Samuelsson: Yeah. Yeah, sure.

Bjork Ostrom: I’ll say it so you don’t have to.

Marcus Samuelsson: But it took me to a projectory of, “Wow. New York Times, this place that food lives everywhere.” And I don’t think before then, actually, because it opened doors for me that I hadn’t seen, and I feel like I’ve been running in this happy, difficult but challenging, and up for the challenge ever since. And opening Red Rooster in 2010 was a major, major milestone in my life and changed the trajectory my life again.

Bjork Ostrom: Your story is one that in our … So Minnesota is home for us. And we live, grew up, in a small town north of the twin cities, Scandinavian Swedish heritage, and for both my wife and I come from families of adoption. And so your story is one of this great inspiration and connection for us, and your cookbooks have been kind of a staple of Christmas gifts at the Ostrom house.

Bjork Ostrom: But one of the things that’s that’s inspiring is when I looked back at the interviews that you’ve done, you talked about how growing up in Sweden, around high school, you knew you wanted to be a chef. That was something that you knew you wanted to pursue. For people who listen to this podcast, a lot of those people know that they want to be grow into something, to build something, or they are doing it and they want to continue doing it and to continue doing it better.

Bjork Ostrom: You’ve talked about your experiences, the 25 years that you’ve built this thing. How much of that for you was inevitable, you had to do it? How much of it was you saying, “I’m going to grind every day and show up”? How much of it was you being you? If you reflect back on where you’ve been, and what you’ve grown, and then we’ll look forward after this, what were the most essential parts of it along the way that other creators can understand and adopt as part of their mindset with building?

Marcus Samuelsson: Yeah, sure. I really appreciated one thing with my father so much, because he came from a fishing village, and he was the son of a fisherman. And he became a geologist. So watching my father both from education, but also class, go through this elevator, this ladder, of up and down. I saw that with my own eyes. When we came back to the village, he was a fisherman. His clothing changed. The car he had picked to go back was always the shittiest car. You know what I mean? The fact that he had several cars, that we lived in a different house in the city versus what we lived in the country house. He never really wanted to repair the country house fully.

Marcus Samuelsson: So he was sort of half embarrassed that he left the village, because that meant his father’s fishermen business also died. But also extremely successful geologist, and a PhD in the city, and watching that life where you go to his office, it could be somebody from American office. There was there often someone from Italy or Japan in the offices, international world. And he didn’t know that much about cooking, but he’s like, “If you’re going to do this, you have to do it at the highest level.”

Marcus Samuelsson: He gave me that as an advice, and then he gave me the advice of always keep aiming high. So he never blocked me going somewhere for the money or something like that. And the last thing about this was that he was extremely passionate culturally, about what it meant to come from a fishing net. Hard work, what you’re doing, your course, all that. He was also equally passionate about his job as a geologist. And he loved going to work. I never heard my father say, “Damn, I got to go to work tomorrow.” No. Never, never, never.

Marcus Samuelsson: And so he said, “Pick something that you would know you’re going to love to do.” And I never experienced going to work, as a burden. Never. Ever. And that’s something that … The work ethic piece is there, the guidance, but also the passion about the craftsmanship, the artistry, whatever that is. So that would be the only advice, finding that balance for yourself.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I remember having a conversation with my wife, Lindsay. So Lindsay is the front face of the site Pinch of Yum, which she publishes content to, does recipe development, photography. And I said, “If not recipe development, photography, what would it be? You can’t do that.” And she said, “Well, I would … I’d probably …” and she reflected a little bit, and she was like, “Maybe start a site,” and she got into it, and eventually she just described what she’s currently doing every day.

Bjork Ostrom: And it sounds like that could be the case for you, where if you take everything away, what would you do? And you would probably describe something similar to what you’re doing, which is such a great thing, to be able to do that every day.

Bjork Ostrom: I want to shift gears a little bit and shine a light on The Rise, this book. At what point did you know, my guess was it was some point this year, or had it been in the works before that, to work on The Rise? Can you talk a little bit about the backstory with that? I’m holding it here in my hands. Nobody can actually see that, but a beautiful book, and I want to hear a little bit about the origin story of that.

Marcus Samuelsson: Yeah. I felt that it was time to celebrate black excellence in American food. So much about black history is not correct. The way it’s told, the way it’s spoken to us in institutions, and food history is no different. And I thought, “We have this opportunity here to have a much more delicious entry point to American food.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. What do you mean by that?

Marcus Samuelsson: Well, I mean, just like American music, you don’t have to be black to enjoy all the incredible fruits of the labor of incredible African-American musicians. You live in Minneapolis. Well, Prince: you don’t have to be black to enjoy everything that Prince gave us. And food can be very similar, right? And you can talk about, when you go through Prince’s works, what is he talking about in Sign o’ the Times? What is he talking about in these songs?

Marcus Samuelsson: Same thing with food. You can have with your black friends or non-black friends, you can have great discussions and understand a different narrative that might not be yours, but guess what? It is yours, because it’s America. You’re part of that. You’re a neighbor or you’re a friend and all of those different things, and until we’ve acknowledged the authorship, we cannot really have correct memories with this, and therefore you cannot build the right, really, aspirations.

Marcus Samuelsson: So for me, it was important to do a look back, “Okay, what’s the link between the west coast of Africa and the Carolinas? What are the foods?” and enter the conversation around race in a completely different way. It’s a little bit uncomfortable when you start, but once you get going? Yes, we can do this.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. One of the things that really stood out to me was when you talk about, I think, French coffee is one example. It’s like when Apple says on the back of their iPhone, “Designed in California,” but it’s assembled somewhere else. And French coffee … Those are Ethiopian beans. There’s a couple other examples that you gave.

Marcus Samuelsson: Belgian chocolate.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Belgian chocolate. That’s not where the bean is coming from. I think of music and the example that you gave, which I think is understandable, because people listen to reggae and it sounds different, and people listen to hip hop and it sounds different. They know that there’s these genres, and you can also go to genius.com and you can look at people pulling apart the lyrics and tying them back, like, “What does this song, Kanye saying at Sunday service mean?” Well, go to genius.com, peel back the layers.

Bjork Ostrom: It feels like the book The Rise is kind of addressing the lack of that as a resource as it relates to food. So along with purchasing the book, which I would like to plug and encourage people to do because it’s an incredible book, how do you enter into that? And how do you start to understand what is the reggae to an entree that you’re eating, that you maybe don’t have the language to describe or understand?

Marcus Samuelsson: Yes. Well, I think it’s an excellent starting point and a lot of people got why it’s important to talk about. And if you think about food in America as a medium, it’s pretty young. It’s been around for 80 years. 70 of those we spent on focusing on French food.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Right.

Marcus Samuelsson: So nothing in American food. French food, and then maybe five of those were spent on French and Italian food. So that gives you five years of then everything other for worldly food, including our own.

Bjork Ostrom: And when you say that, focusing on it, what do you mean by that? Like generally speaking, if people are experiencing food, it’s within the context of …

Marcus Samuelsson: If you went to cooking school, you want the terms of French. If you wanted to buy pots or pans, if they put a French word on it right away, our mind goes that it’s better. So, we are programmed in a way that- And rightfully so. France has given us tremendous in terms of food.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Marcus Samuelsson: And so has other countries. And then even to the point of why it’s important to address that the coffee beans come from Ethiopia or that the cocoa beans come from Ghana, and it’s not Belgian chocolate, and so on, because most Western Europe have other cultural way to engage in front of you, whether it’s through an app or through musical culture, there are many different ways. But guess what? Black culture has not had the same opportunity to get in front of you. So, if we want to beat up on France, guess what? France could come back in literature. France can come back in so many different other ways.

Marcus Samuelsson: And here’s the point when even blackness, that word, doesn’t cover the experience. We talk about France versus black. Well, wait a minute. Eric Gestel in my book worked for Eric Ripert. He’s French black Caribbean. I’m Ethiopian black. You can be black through the great migration and the food through that experience, through the American experience.

Marcus Samuelsson: You can also be from a completely different experience. So our food cannot be monolithic when our journeys are so different. And that is the underbelly of this, that we haven’t done enough media storytelling about the black experience around food to even understand what it looks like and tastes like. There are five original cuisines, American cuisines, that all stemmed from black culture: barbecue, low country, Southern food that we refer to very often as soul food, Cajun, and Creole.

Marcus Samuelsson: There are five original cuisines. I bet you the majority of people knows all these cuisines, but maybe after that, don’t even think about where that came from historically, and therefore you don’t think about who should get credited for that the way we should. And therefore it’s important to reference it and bring it up.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I think it’s great. And I think that playlist, or you talk about a listening party, and this idea of having a listening party and much like you wouldn’t say like, “Oh, this is black music …” There’s so many different layers to that. And it’s complex, as is with food, diverse, and not monolithic. The same being true what I hear you saying when you talk about black food, the book being a great entry point to that. Do you have other places to point people to that they can start to fill this picture out a little bit more? My guess is a lot of people, this will be a podcast where there’ll be some realizations of like, “Wow, I never thought of that. Or I did and didn’t take action on it.”

Bjork Ostrom: How do you step into that? What are some of the resources? Obviously, reading the stories within the book and the nuances to the foods and the recipes that people are describing, a great place to start and the first place that I would point people towards. Would you have another step or another place that you could point people to?

Marcus Samuelsson: Absolutely. And thank you for opening the door for people to do the work. I’m going to give you an example. During MLK weekend or black history month, for example, just activate yourself that week. Think about it different. It’s just not something that, “Oh, it’s black history month.” What does that mean for you as a family? Well, maybe order in from, if there is a black owned restaurant, or take-out Jamaican restaurant around the corner, or there’s a Southern restaurant around the corner. Or buy a book from a black author.

Marcus Samuelsson: There’s enough things in the food world that has black experiences that you can participate in, and one of the reasons why we put 200 black chefs in the back and we put all their Instagram handles on there too, is because I want this conversation, exactly what you’re talking about, to happen.

Marcus Samuelsson: So if you live in a smaller town, it might be a little bit more work you’ve got to do. You might have to drive to Minneapolis. You might have to go to Milwaukee, or you can order it online.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Marcus Samuelsson: Because, connect. If you want to pre-order Mashama Bailey’s book, if you want to go on Netflix and check out Rodney Scott. The next time you go to South Carolina, you might go there. For me, it’s about take this opportunity to reactivate yourself in this space that you may or may not be that familiar with, and do the work. And guess what? It’s going to be delicious because you’re going to discover something and you’re going to eat well and have a conversation about it.

Bjork Ostrom: And what a great connection to doing the work, but also what an enjoyable way to do the work. If the conduit for that is food, which is one of the things that I so appreciate about some of the points that you touched on in the book, is like, “Hey, this awesome that you can do this,” and you can experience this through food because food is a great way to have that conversation. And maybe a good point to end on.

Bjork Ostrom: You talk about racism being the biggest wound in America and how important it is to heal it and how food and learning about our food can help heal our nation, which is so inspiring. And I think that the book plays a part in that, but it won’t unless people engage with it.

Bjork Ostrom: And so, that would be my encouragement to anybody who listens to this podcast, who’s gotten anything out of this interview, or anything out of the conversations we’ve had in the past, would be to- We do online marketing as well. Here’s our call to action, Marcus, we don’t do this on the podcast- Is to pick up the book and to engage with it, to read it. It’s clear, it’s concise, and that’s something that people can do moving forward.

Bjork Ostrom: Marcus, obviously people can find you in all different forms of medium, their TV, their bookstore, their phone on Instagram, their neighborhood if they’re traveling in a season where restaurants are open again, and we can check out the different restaurants you have around the US. Where would you say would be the best place for people to connect with you? And obviously we’ll link to all of these resources you’ve shared in the show notes as well.

Marcus Samuelsson: I think that following me on Marcus Cooks, you get a taste of our world, but also I love when people reach out to us, either when they DM me or they go on our website on marcussamuelssongroup.com and just shoot something in to us that you’re passionate about. We will read it. It might take a while, but it always informs me of another conversation, that when I’m in my restaurants or when I’m doing something that I might not be able to pick up at that moment. Especially now during COVID, I’m not as intimate. Before I could go up to tables, take pictures, talk to people. I can’t do that. I just can’t.

Marcus Samuelsson: But I want to be connected. So I love if you guys DM us or follow because we take great pride in the content that we do. I also started a podcast this year called This Moment with my friend, Jason Diakité, and we have great conversations about race, diversity, and how we can all learn what are the tools that we navigate through this, because it’s important. We’re all going through so much right now, and it was important to document this journey.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. We’ll link to the podcast as well, because obviously everybody here are podcast listeners, so they can follow along with you there.

Bjork Ostrom: Marcus, thanks so much for taking time out of your undoubtedly busy day to have this conversation. I know that I’m better because of it, and I think our listeners will be as well. Thanks.

Marcus Samuelsson: Thank you. And the best of holidays to you and your family, and thank you so much for having me.

Alexa Peduzzi: And that’s a wrap on this episode of The Food Blogger Pro podcast. Thanks again for tuning in today. Again, if you want to visit any of the links and resources that were mentioned in this episode, you can get them all at the show notes for this episode at foodbloggerpro.com/289. There, you’ll find links to Marcus’s podcast, the World Central Kitchen website, and the link to purchase The Rise, Marcus’s new book. We hope you enjoyed this episode. We’ll see you next time next Tuesday, and until then, make it a great week.

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  1. I got so excited when I saw Marcus Samuelsson as the guest. This was a fantastic interview; it left me wanting more. I am so grateful for the diversity of this podcast and the intention behind that diversity. I appreciate that Bjork doesn’t shy away from discussions that may be challenging, but he embraces them and encourages others to do the same. As he and Marcus stated, “doing the work” in this instance takes you on a delicious journey.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind feedback, Shannon! Bjork is such a great interviewer, and we hope to have more conversations like this in the future.

      Definitely let us know if there are any other topics you’d like to hear us touch on in future podcast episodes! 😊