In addition to his mega-watt resume, Chef Samuelsson’s heritage is Ethiopian and Swedish. Bolstered by his Harlem roots, he’s no stranger to bold flavors, either.
When US Foods and Samuelsson linked up, the chef says he imagined what it would be like if he was on the other side of the client-customer equation, which, as a restaurant owner, he often is.
“As a small business owner myself, this is what I would do,” he says. “As a business owner you’re committing to a menu item that maybe you’ve never had in your life. You’re taking a leap of faith. So you need to know you’re getting a great product. There has to be trust there for customers.”
The idea being that independent restaurateurs, regardless of their culinary background, can menu this lineup understanding it was designed by one of the nation’s most prominent chef, and someone who has mastered global flavors. Not to mention it will come ready to fire and fly off the line right away, with minimal training.
There are six items:
Patuxent Farms Uptown Par-Fried Chicken Thigh: Inspired by Chef Samuelsson’s famous Yard Bird Chicken from Red Rooster Harlem, this dish is a cross between Grandma’s fried chicken and world cuisine. The item includes buttermilk, coconut milk, and a touch of Berbere seasoning along with the crunch of traditional southern breading.
Molly’s Kitchen Spicy Battered Cauliflower with Aleppo Pepper: Easily deep-fried or baked, Molly’s Kitchen Spicy Battered Cauliflower with Aleppo Pepper serves up a tender cauliflower floret in crispy batter, seasoned with a gentle, well-balanced Middle Eastern spice.
Monarch Addis Style Spice Blend: Inspired by the traditional Ethiopian Berbere spice blends, this version factors in cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and chile de árbol. This item can be used as a fiery rub for meat, poultry and fish, and seasoning for stews, soups, grains and vegetables.
Chef’s Line Cornbread Muffin: By adding big-city spice to down-home soul food, this collaboration has livened up traditional corn muffins with the warm red and gently sweet spice of Aleppo pepper.
Harbor Banks Smoked Norwegian Salmon: A staple in Sweden where Chef Samuelsson grew up, this Norwegian salmon is cold-smoked for 24 hours using Beechwood at a critical point in the process which contributes to higher quality and sensory attributes.
Harbor Banks Smoked Norwegian Trout: Sometimes known as Norwegian Atlantic steelhead trout, this delicious dish has a rich red color and firm texture.