Now he is turning his attention with increasing frequency to the continent of his birth. His book The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa has a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Marcus says he hopes Americans will come to see the link between American and African food.

"We only hear about war and famine in Africa," he says sadly. "But it has proud, fantastic food."

Whether he is discussing various European or African cuisines, or the cooking of the United States, he sees food as an opportunity to enlighten others. When he comes up with recipes, he tries to make sure they "reveal a sense of my culture and a sense of my restaurant."

He urges home cooks to pay attention to the right tools (how can you slice salmon very thin if you don't have a sharp, flexible knife?), the temperature of the heat under the pots, and the temperature of the food when it is put on the table. He also advises home cooks to pay attention to the aesthetics of serving and eating the food, with a well-set table and good lighting as the place to start.

Marcus Samuelsson's Recipes
Excerpted from O, The Oprah Magazine Cookbook. Copyright © 2008 Hearst Communications, Inc. Published by Hyperion. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold and online via


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