Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson is Creating of the Kitchen the Future


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There are many parallels that can be drawn between leading a kitchen and navigating entrepreneurship. Both take leadership, focus, perseverance, and, above all, passion to get you through the ups and downs. With 12 restaurants around the globe, a James Beard award, best-selling books, and Iron Chef bragging rights, it’s something that celebrity chef and entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson knows a thing or two about. Here are a few lessons that Marcus Samuelsson lives by. 

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Let passion drive you

“Being a chef is not that different from being an entrepreneur in the business world. Whether you’re opening a restaurant or starting a different business, you must be passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re in it for money or fame, it won’t work. You have to be genuinely passionate about having something to say and want to share that with people.”

Find power in diversity

“It’s important to know who you are and where you come from. Many of our strengths come from our differences. That concept is powerful in any business; find diversity and embrace the differences. I’m blessed to have grown up in a very diverse family and to be an immigrant six times over. I can relate to standing on the border when all you want is to get in, add value, and work hard. Diversity is how the world and business move forward.” 

Listen to your customers

“I live in Harlem. People express themselves every day when I walk from my home to the restaurant. I get everything from, ‘Why has the chicken changed price?’ to ‘The cocktail needs to be bigger.’ It’s important that our staff is sensitive to what the customers are telling us. It’s important to build a trusted environment where people feel like their opinions matter and that they can share their thoughts.”

Curiosity is key

“Stay curious about the place and the people you meet. Food has taken me all over the world. It’s taught me to always stay curious and to never stop learning. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you have the opportunity of learning about localism and how beautiful that is. In both work and life, you should learn to celebrate differences and at the same time, similarities.”