Our man Marcus Samuelsson is currently on tour to promote his new book, Yes, Chef. We asked him to drop us a line once in a while to let us know he’s OK (we care about our co-founder) and to find out what exactly he is doing — where he’s eating/running and when he’s cooking for over-eager celebrity gossip TV hosts. Check back over the next few weeks as he takes his Yes, Chef act on the road (and in the kitchens!). Take it away, Marcus…
I started the day hanging in Koreatown, where I explored the markets and saw many ingredients I’ve never seen before — I tried kimbap for the first time. It was an amazing start to the trip. I took a run in between events and ran around Fairfax neighborhood. I checked out restaurants in Little Ethiopia and thought a lot about my talk with Sanford Biggers at the Hammer Museum the night before. We both went to Japan for new inspiration and it was really interesting to learn we were on a search for similar things. Also, I thought about the menu we were having at Son of a Gun that night and went through in my head all the details to make sure the food represented my journey through Yes, Chef.
I hit up Access Hollywood and demo’d catfish sandwiches and my avocado-banana smoothie. The regular host, Billy Bush, was gone because he was in a bike accident. But I had fun with the girls who did it. Lots of fun and energy.
I did an interview with Tavis Smiley, which was just amazing. He asked me really deep questions that were hard to answer, but it was also a very authentic and honest conversation with him. Tavis is incredible — he’s interviewed the greats, from Obama to Prince. How did he get Prince to talk?
Headed to Grand Central Market in downtown LA for tacos — I introduced goat and tongue tacos to the girls I’m traveling with and we had a lot of fun. That market is just phenomenal. It opened in 1917 and they produce such authentic and honest food. I had been to get tacos at The Grove farmers market the day before, so it was fun to compare the two. I also had to stop into one of my favorite dive bars, La Cita, afterwards for a Modelo or two. That place is pure LA. It’s beautifully sunny outside, but inside the bar it’s dark, loud, seedy and crowded on a Monday afternoon. I love it.
I did a kitchen takeover with Son of a Gun. (See the Food Republic Instagram Takeover from Vinny and Jon). It was an amazing experience. Did two seatings and the energy of the guys in kitchen was phenomenal. Charles came with me from Red Rooster and did a great job. The menu was a reflection of my journey and I’m excited to work with other chefs across the country. Barbara Fairchild came by and it was great to see my LA friends who all stopped by.
At the end I was able to take a breather and share a Tusker beer with my boys and taste the menu, then had a night cap at the Frolic Room. I used to love that place because it was local and sort of seedy, but they’ve renovated it and I don’t like it as much. But still enjoyed the time and was in bed by 1 a.m.!