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Chicago, IL

Renaissance Girl is a Chicago lifestyle blog by Laura Notorangelo for every person who loves to explore and find new travel destinations, restaurants, recipes and events.

Cooking Lessons from Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Food + Drink

From the perspective of a food and drink blogger, avid traveler and epicurean, Renaissance Girl brings you restaurants, reviews, events, drinks and recipes from an amateur chef and food blogger around Chicago and New York.

Cooking Lessons from Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Laura Notorangelo

As a big fan of Chopped, it was so excited to learn some pearls of wisdom from acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson, restauranteur and noted chef. He is also a member of the Macy's Culinary Council, so he stopped by Macy's on State Street in Chicago to give a cooking demo. He prepared some of his favorite recipes from his new cookbook, "Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook At Home".

Born in Sweden and raised in Ethiopia, he has a natural appreciation for fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. His love for spices was also apparent in the dishes he prepped and shared with the audience at his cooking demo for Macy's. They certainly weren't lacking in flavor, texture or substance, so my grandma would approve! 

I had the opportunity to speak with him after this event, when I picked his brain of how he became so successful. I asked, "What advice to you have to anyone looking to get started in the culinary industry?" He replied, "You have to start somewhere. Do anything, really. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, apply for a job as a dishwasher and work your way up in the kitchen, cook at home, travel, anything. As long as you get started."

I replied, "So it makes sense to follow your passion?" And he replied, "Absolutely. Whatever your passion is, follow where it leads."

I've tried a few recipes from his new cookbook, and they are so flavorful! I highly recommend his cookbook if you need some new flavor profiles and recipes for your kitchen arsenal. And now, every time I open the cookbook to get started on a recipe, I can see his last few words of encouragement, "Laura, cook with love." To which I reply, yes, chef!