Homemade Podcast Episode 21: Marcus Samuelsson on Music, Food Memories, and Making a Difference

This world-class chef wants others to see America as he does: beautiful and delicious.

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Marcus Samuelsson headshot
Photo: Matt Dutile

As an Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised American chef, Marcus Samuelsson has seen enough of the world to know firsthand how food unites people. While he's lived in the United States since 1994, the award-winning restauranteur and cookbook author still considers himself a proud immigrant. Samuelsson has painted a rich, vibrant portrait of America as host of "No Passport Required" on PBS and author of cookbooks like The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, his newest release. And in documenting the stories of America's best-loved foods, he tells stories of the immigrants who brought their heritage to America from all over the globe.

On this episode of Homemade, Samuelsson and Martie Duncan chat about giving back during a global pandemic, seeing the best in people in the worst of times, and his love for Thanksgiving. He also tells us about spending summers on a small fishing island in Sweden, where he learned about farm-to-table cooking from his grandmother. Tune in to learn his grandmother's recipes for apple jam, fish dumplings, and spatchcocked turkey with super-crispy skin. Download it for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts beginning October 28.

About Marcus Samuelsson

Adopted from Ethiopia as a child, Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden before coming to the United States to work as a restaurant apprentice. In 2003, he received the James Beard award for "Best Chef: New York City." Samuelsson owns a handful of restaurants, including Red Rooster in Harlem. In addition to hosting "No Passport Required," Samuelsson has appeared on TV shows like Food Network's "Chopped," "Top Chef Masters" (which he won), and "Iron Chef America." He has also authored several books, including The Rise, The Red Rooster Cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, and The Soul of a New Cuisine.

Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and check out his website.

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Welcome to Homemade from Allrecipes. I'm Martie Duncan. On this show, we celebrate the beloved recipes, memories, and traditions behind our favorite foods.

That's my guest today, Chef Marcus Samuelsson. You may know him from Food Network's "Chopped." He also won "Top Chef Masters," which came with a $115,000 prize, which he turned around and donated to UNICEF to help provides clean water to villages in Africa.

Chef Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Sweden, where he eventually went to culinary school. He later moved to the United States, and now he's one of America's leading voices in the food community with a television show on PBS and restaurants around the globe.

His flagship restaurant, Red Rooster in Harlem, has become a comfort food mecca and the Yardbird Fried Chicken has people standing in line. Marcus Samuelsson, welcome to Homemade.

MARCUS SAMUELSSON How are you? Thank you for having me.

MARTIE I'm so tickled to have you. Are you kidding me? I love watching your show on PBS, "No Passport Required." I'm just so fascinated with those backstories behind all of our different cultures and the different heritage foods that are so important to different regions around America. How did it come to be?

MARCUS It's one of those dream shows where I can get the chance to travel this beautiful country. I mean, now it's very hard to do that show because now we can't travel as much. But pre-COVID, you know, we wanted to tell the full story of how beautiful and delicious America is, and the backstories around immigrants. And I think that so much of the narrative of immigrants is a false narrative pushed out. And we want to show something that immigrants, first of all, we are Americans. Everybody comes from a different path. And here is how we contribute. And the more you start learning about backstories, you also start thinking about your own family.


MARCUS So, in this moment, when we can find relatable causes to celebrate us and our diversity in America, grab it. If you can hear a story that is different than yours, you're going to find similarities. If you can eat something that you're not familiar with but you have more understanding of it. If you can listen to music that are different than what you grew up with, or you might currently listen to, take those opportunities. Because it's only in that discovery you truly are going to fully see how beautiful America is.

MARTIE I know music is a big influence for you. I think you've got a big boombox sculpture in your office, don't you?

MARCUS I do, I do. Definitely.

MARTIE Music is a giant influence for me, too. Tell me what you're listening to now. Like, what's your favorite on your playlist right this minute?

MARCUS I grew up in a household where, you know, my parents had a better sound system than car.

MARTIE Oh, we did too! We did too.

MARCUS The sound system was like, to touch my mom's Bang Olufsen, this Danish incredible sound system, you have to, like, ask for permission. I remember the day when I got a boombox in my own room and I didn't have to share it with my sisters. It was like a big day!

So now, actually I've gone back to a lot of stuff that I grew up with in the '80s. So I listen to Prince a lot right now. Going back, there's this amazing podcast that documented how Prince did his albums in the '80s, and I needed that because this year has been so chaotic for all of us, right?


MARCUS So I want to listen to something. Also how he crafted some of his best album. And it was during a highly chaotic period in his life. Yet, he created masterpieces. And going back to his work made it calmer for him, although the outside world for him was very chaotic. So it's just been helpful to be listening to. You know, the engineers and the musicians that created those albums and listening to those stories.

MARTIE It took you to a place of comfort. And it took you to your roots. I think that's why we saw so many people rush to the store for yeast and things like that and start baking during the pandemic because people needed that sense of home, that sense of grounding, that sense of roots.


MARTIE You know, we're gonna be OK. So, your Swedish roots were a big part of your farm-to-table cooking background, your love of local ingredients. I was reading your book again, and that was what inspired me to ask about all these beautiful foods that you grew up not just eating but making with your grandmother in her kitchen, fishing with your father. Tell us a little bit about that.

MARCUS Me and my sister were adopted at a very early age from Ethiopia due to tuberculosis. And then we were adopted by a Swedish family. And I grew up in the city of Gothenburg, but summertime, we really grew up on a little island, fishing village. And my influences, besides my parents, was really two. They were my drunk uncles.

MARUCS They were like these beautiful, most favorite, two favorite people in the world. One, Torsten, like as a kid, you always loved him because he was always excited and happy to see you. And my grandmother, Helga. And there was a lot of poverty growing up on a fishing island and it was also uncertain. If nature was too harsh, you couldn't go out and fish. If it was too cold, you couldn't go out and fish. You had to pickle and preserve.

Once we caught catch, it was something very serious. My uncles were very much, like, joyful, like telling bad jokes and constantly involved us. But once we caught something, that was serious. And then had to be brought back to the home, and it can only go in three different ways. It was either smoked afterwards or preserved in one way. You always have to give out a little bit of food to the elderly, or we ate it that same day. With food, there was no jokes. Because they'd been through these cold, long winters during the wars, Second World War, where they didn't have food for a long time, for example.


MARCUS So when my grandmother and the food that we created at home — there was farm-to-table, nose-to-tail way before those were terms. I have a much better reference of sounds and smells than anything else. You walk into my grandparents' house, to the left my grandfather was sitting by the radio listening to things. Not really watching TV, always to the radio, commenting back to the radio, screaming at the radio if he was upset. And then you walk into the grandmother's place, which was really the kitchen, which really, 70 percent of the house, where it was always a stock or broth cooking, smelling in the back. There was always a bread to be made. So there was dough somewhere.


MARCUS She was cleaning something, whether it was chicken or fish. Vegetables were everywhere. Fruits were everywhere. We either had to go out and pick it or we had to clean it. Or we have to go foraging for lingonberries or mushrooms, depending on what season it was. And then, of course, in the basement, it was the labeling of all the jars. And it could read something like, "Lingonberries, October 1981." "Pickled mushrooms, September 1982." And when you had the job to could bring those jobs back up, you better bring the right season. And in Sweden at that time, you know, it's different. This food, this basement, was kept in — if the Russians would come, which was really real.


MARCUS Right, this was real. It was not something that, you know, you can almost laugh at today. But no, this was happening. This was real Cold War fear.


MARCUS So, that's how I grew up, with fresh food. Our steak was cod or halibut. Our second day meal was very often a fish soup or fish with fish dumplings. The meat that we had was meatballs was grounded meat. And if we ever had steak, it was pork.

MARTIE I want to know about fish dumplings.


MARTIE What was that like? Tell me about that.

MARCUS Oh, fabulous. So it was really scraps of cod or halibut or whatever fish that we had back. You had to have to clean the cod. You scrape it, you get all that — you get this bucket of beautiful fish meat that in a restaurant today would be used to for tartars or used for other treatments. And that, with a little bit of butter or some type of fat, get mixed up, very often filled with breadcrumbs. So eventually the way someone makes meatballs, it's the same type of structure — a little bit onion, a little bit of breadcrumbs, a little bit of that first meat. And you roll it, and you could either boiled them...


MARCUS Or you fry them.

MARTIE Like, so, dumplings, essentially.

MARCUS Dumpling, exactly. And then they were served with, we always had potatoes. They very often get sweetened with an apple or a pear, and then get mashed.


MARCUS My grandmother maybe had carrots ready or horseradish that we grinded in.

MARTIE And that would go in the mashed potatoes?

MARCUS That goes in the mash. Right?

MARTIE Ooh, that sounds good.

MARCUS Oh, it was delicious. And then she made the gravy from where we seared the fish, the dumplings. Very often with pickle juice. From the cucumbers, she took the pickle juice. She took the milk or cream, whatever she had, thicken that up with a little bit of flour. In her later days, when she got hip, she even added soy into that. I can't believe it.

MARTIE Really?

MARCUS Yeah, yeah. She did what she'd seen on TV.

MARTIE Yeah. She was doing fusion cooking before there was fusion cooking.

MARCUS Way before. Way before.

MARTIE I think all of our ancestors, you know, they did what they had to do. And, you know, wanted to be creative, too, in the kitchen just like we are. Where they wanted to try something a little bit different, little bit unique. I read one time that you said one of the things that takes you back immediately was making apple jam and pickles with your grandmother.


MARTIE So, apple jam, could we make that?

MARCUS Oh, absolutely. But first of all, my grandmother was completely in favor of child labor. I have to say that, first off. So, like, if, you, you know, when you're seven or eight or ten or whatever — if me and my sister went to my grandmother, it was full with awareness that we're working. I never remember playing with my grandmother. Or my grandfather. It was full-on work. I set the bike. I ran up the fifteen stairs. And I was sweaty because I was probably bike racing with my sisters. But once you enter, you were actively working. So it wasn't a place where I brought my friends, necessarily. But I also was there because you always got great food.

MARTIE Oh, yeah.

MARCUS But als, the love and the warmth, and my grandmother was talking. She was constantly talking to us. So the apple jam — first of all, apple jam does not get created by apples that are still on the tree. Apple jam gets created by all the fruit that fell down and get kind of rougher and beaten up because the good fruit you can bring to a market and sell. So all the fallen fruit, that's how we made the apple jam. Very often mixed. It could be plums, it could be pears in that apple jam, as well.

MARTIE You're listening to Homemade. We'll be right back after the break.

I'm Martie Duncan, and my guest today is Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

How important do you think it is to get kids cooking now like you did with your grandmother?

MARCUS You know, I think that in many ways we have all the tools in front of us. Right? This pandemic made us closer to cook and buy ingredients so we can cook versus buying the finished product. When I travel the country or when I speak to families, the kids are very often the ones that brings them to food today, because through YouTube or through Food Network or through whatever magazines, kids are aware.

So I do think in one way, kids have more access and are more interested in food than ever. But also, you have to realize that as food and kids goes, it's also a stair image of how America is divided. You have 5 million American kids that goes to bed every day with food insecurities. So when you think about haves and haves not, food insecurities for kids is really something that we have to do a better job at.

MARTIE I agree.

MARCUS It's something that we can really take away and we should and we need to focus on it more.

MARTIE Those numbers are staggering. And sometimes if kids don't go to school, like we didn't during the pandemic, those kids don't have food. So I think you're absolutely right. And I appreciate and applaud all that you're doing to try to bring awareness to food insecurities. And it's not just in the big cities. It's everywhere. It's all across America.

MARCUS But everybody can do something. And that's the key, right? If you are a grower, you're bringing kids once a week to show them how to grow vegetables, for example.

Something that happened during the pandemic in my neighborhood was that all the parents got together and said, "Hey, how to create a summer or some sense of normalcy for our kids?" And every parent's work was something, so everybody can contribute. So it was my wife and I, we cooked. We did hosted cooking classes, for example. Another parent was a drummer. So he did Haitian drum classes. Another parent is a creative teacher in terms of drawing and painting. So they did that. So there is a way for communities to collectively to come together.

MARTIE That's wonderful.

MARCUS Everyone can't write a check. So it's about how do we ask local communities, take our neighborhoods back. and create some level of normalcy. And you have to kind of like, constantly acknowledge your privilege, question yourself, how can you do more. Food insecurity is across this beautiful nation. And it's something that we can really, really do a better job of.

MARTIE I have three cookbooks that I have done. They're local to my home state of Alabama, and I did it to raise awareness of our local restaurants.

MARCUS Beautiful.

MARTIE And I loved doing it because I got to meet everybody and hear everybody's stories. Right? I had an African American photographer with me for the whole 5,000 miles around the state, and we were discussing some of these issues and she said, "I think what we need to do is do more of inviting everybody to our table."


MARTIE She goes, "Because it's at the table where everybody can agree about food."

MARCUS But it's also about if we eat and if we learn about each other, there's also an opportunity to learn similarities. Like through a call like this, I found out that you were adopted and I'm adopted. So we shared that. The fact that your father lived in 17 different foster homes. I mean that by itself, how was the eighth one versus the twelth? You know what I mean?


MARCUS The sense of lost hope, security, he must have felt when he went from home to home. So, all of our stories are very unique as Americans and the point of writing The Rise was that, as Black people, so goes American food. We contributed, we came to this land completely to work on the land and to — to serve in a horrible way. But our food traditions are still here. And how do you aspire and how do you acknowledge and how do you write us back into American food history?

And wherever you are on this matter, if you're not African American or are, there is a learning opportunity here. How can I support Black chefs in my community? Well, you can order in. You can go to those restaurants. You can seek them out. How can I be an ally? Well, if you work in media, you can upload them on your platform. If you are great at technology, maybe you go and volunteer and help them to build a website. Etcetera.

So, again, as communities, as people that we care about this country, if we want more equality in our beautiful food community, then there is a role for everybody. And part of The Rise was to make sure that the chefs, that we do a deep diving are not just in New York or L.A. or something like that. These are chefs everywhere.

So it's important to say, like, hey, locally, I can do that. Like someone like who lives close to Birmingham, you know, or someone who lives close to Savannah. OK. We can go and support Grey and Miss Mashama Bailey or whatever it might be. So chefs, people of colors that work in our industry are everywhere. So just do a little Google search, figure out how you can support it. Because it's America's food.

MARTIE Well, what we are talking about, for those of you who don't know, Marcus has a new book out and it is called The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food. What people need to know about this book, it's 150 recipes with chefs, writers, activists, and the stories — their inspirational stories of where these recipes and this food came from and how they came to be.

What inspired you to do this book? It's so timely. I have a feeling it had something to do with the time we're in. But I know it took you a long time to write it. So, it must have been something on your heart for a long time.

MARCUS This book took four years to write. As a chef that has the luxury and privilege to be able to publish. you have to acknowledge that. I think a lot about what should my next book be about because that privilege of being able to publish is not something that everybody has.


MARCUS So, after I was done with The Red Rooster Cookbook, which really talks about our restaurant and the narrative of the restaurant, I felt like, you know what, our path is so unique.

A lot of Black chefs have done the anonymous labor behind the scenes. And so many Black people in industry, like I'll give one example, like Nearest Green, he is the one that came up with a recipe for Jack Daniels. And he wasn't awarded a dime for that. I mean, that's probably the most famous brown spirit in the world, for example.

So very often we are written out, whether it was from ownership or history of our journey. And it changes things. And I thought about chefs like Ms. Leah Chase that is really like a hero to me.

MARTIE Oh, yes. The godmother of Southern food.

MARCUS Yes. Miss Leah is unique. And everybody doesn't have the strength and the whereabouts as she had. But she's someone that's been in her community since the '40s and she was both an activist and an advocate for Black voices.

But there's also the young ones in the book, like Patricia in our book. She's Dominican, and she's 18 years old. And I wanted to write this book for her generation. If you're just coming into our industry, you should know that you are part of a lineage of incredible contributors to American food. And I also wanted to have, if you're not Black, a guidebook of saying our food, how American food came to be, is really a tapestry just like America.

MARTIE Exactly.

MARCUS You have to look at it as the contribution to what African Americans have contributed. And as we move on, as we are a nation of immigrants, being Ethiopian, I have one narrative. Being Haitian, being Jamaican-American, we all come to Blackness in a vastly different way. And if you have context to this, you're gonna eat better. You're gonna make more conscious decisions.

In a way, same way, as we learn about music. If you're want to listen to gospel on a Sunday, you know where to go. If you want to listen to some rock and roll, if you want to listen to some hip hop. These are all buckets that are clearly identified for you and it would be absurd to write Black people out of American music. Same goes with our food. So people need context. They need to know our history. And it's America's history.

MARTIE It definitely is.

MARCUS You can read it. You can cook with it. You can invite your friends. Food will be part of what's going to bring us back to the table as a nation.

MARTIE Agreed.

MARCUS Music is key. Food is so important in this process. When you start to break bread with people that may or may not share your journey, it's really powerful, right?

MARTIE It truly is.

MARCUS And once you start to know about a person and their culture that is very different than yours, it changes everything.

MARTIE Marcus, have you ever watched the documentary "Muscle Shoals"?

MARCUS Of course. I know "Muscle Shoals." I love it.

MARTIE OK. Well, I want to invite you, if you ever get down this way again, meet me in Muscle Shoals. We'll go to the studios and walk those hallowed halls of Wilson Pickett and all those guys. You know, I love that story from the documentary that Rick Hall tells, they would go to have lunch and they would have all these Black musicians and the white guys hanging out, breaking bread together. And he said they'd get a lot of stares, but when they showed up with Duane Allman, the hippie with long hair, he said that, like, that was much worse. Much, much, much worse.


MARTIE But he talks about how the music brought all those cultures and different people together in a time where America was at its worst in terms of race relations.

MARCUS Yeah. And so many incredible albums were recorded. Aretha recorded there.

MARTIE Yes, she did!

MARCUS So many amazing albums comes out of that studio. So it just shows you, if you have a point of view and if you're really good, people will come to you. I mean, the Rolling Stones had to fly all the way to Muscle Shoals just to get the sound right.

MARTIE All right. Well, talking about the pandemic, it makes me want to ask you, how's it going now? We're six months in. Tell us what's going on in New York and in Harlem specifically and with your restaurants.

MARCUS Thank you for asking. I think that I'm cautiously optimistic. The restaurant was really closed and turned into a community kitchen. And we've been serving over 250,000 meals for the neediest and for the first responders, which was very important work for us to do during the pandemic. And I'm really proud of everyone that came to support. José Andrés started World Central Kitchen. And this has made a big difference.

But then the restaurant also was closed for regular guests because it was just wasn't safe enough. So, in the midsummer we started opening our patio back up; we built a bigger patio. And as of this week, we're gonna be able to serve for 25 percent indoor dining. It's not a lot, but it's a beginning. And what's been great in New York is everyone feels, community-wise, that we're on the same page in terms of people wear masks. People try to avoid big crowds. Like these four or five things that we can do that we don't have to argue about so much is happening in New York, at least. Like, washing hands is a given, but, you know, wearing masks, avoiding big crowds. Right? So, for us then to set up tables that are social distanced — it's difficult for the restaurant, but it's what we have to do.

I don't think I've ever been prouder of us as a community than during this time for the work that we're doing as a restaurant. But also for all the people that are out there trying to come up with communal work to help the neediest. We are by no means out of this. We're about to go into a much colder season. So it makes me nervous. But I've also seen a lot of good signs of people working together, the collectiveness of local community work? This is the best I've seen. So in the worst of times, you also see the best in people, and that's been really encouraging.

MARTIE I think that it gives everybody hope. To hear you say that gives everybody hope. Because, you know, a lot of what happens starts in New York and trickles out to the rest of the country. So, I think all of us can take some inspiration from what you're doing.

Tell me, if you're at home on a weeknight with your wife and son, what are y'all cooking?

MARCUS Well, it depends. My wife very often wants to cook Ethiopian food based on a holiday. Ethiopian New Year's just passed, so that is a big, big, big celebration. She might, you know — it's a slow-braised chicken dish that takes days to make. But that process of making it is also what's fun. Right?


MARCUS Chopping the onions. Talking to her sisters. All of that stuff. If it's just a regular weeknight with no holiday celebration, it's a lot of vegetarian food. You know, one thing that the pandemic taught me was that there was about an hour to get into the stores, and then once you were in the store, it was another hour to get to the meat or the fish side of the store. So we started to cut out a lot of meat. We cooked mostly vegetarian for a long time. It was really out of necessity because it was just not that much meat and fish around.

So it could be something with farro and some roasted corn now. It's still good corn, coming to the end of that. Lots of tomatoes, lots of cucumbers, lots of fresh herbs. And it could be a piece of seared fish, you know, if we have access to a great snapper or so on. So trying to do something that is simple and trying to get my four-year-old son to get anything in his stomach. Anything.

MARTIE He looks like he is a lot of fun. Y'all have a lot of fun together. I follow you on Instagram, and I see you guys spend a lot of time together, and it seems like he keeps you pretty busy.

MARTIE Listen, you mentioned the holidays, chef. What dish has to be on your holiday table for it to feel complete? Like, it wouldn't be Christmas or it wouldn't be New Years or Thanksgiving without...

MARCUS So we have turkey as Swedes, but our turkey was on Christmas. Because Thanksgiving is just not something that I grew up with. So, I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. Everybody gets together. So now when I roast my turkey, and I do it the way my grandmother taught me, I do it on Thanksgiving. But I always think about it as a Christmas item because that was the time that we had that. And obviously, the second day and the third day meal, it's even better whether you do a soup, a turkey soup with all those great...

MARTIE Leftovers.

MARCUS Leftovers. And maybe you can even get a sandwich in the third day. It's also transformation of being a Swede and becoming American. As immigrants, we take so much pride in coming to this new country. And like Thanksgiving is the time when — I am an American! You know?

MARTIE Right! It's such a traditional American holiday. OK, walk me through how you roast that turkey. This is something I need to know.

MARCUS Yes. So, I actually love — if you want a juicy turkey, I like to brine it maybe a day or two before. Then pat it dry. And then actually I cut it in half and spatchcock it like this.

MARTIE Spatchcock it, yeah.

MARCUS Because the breast meat, it can get so dry. So the only way I can actually get evenly cooked at the same time and done at the same time is if you spatchcock it. I start with around 300 degrees in the oven, and then the last half an hour I turned my oven up to about 425, even deglaze it with all of that turkey fat that comes out. Then I add a little bit of maple syrup in the last 15 minutes. So it gets the super crispy skin and it's super delicious.

MARTIE Ooh, it sounds good.

MARCUS Always juicy.

MARTIE Now, that's a trick I haven't heard about, the maple syrup. So tell me real quick, just so...

MARCUS Yeah, I mean, you have this, obviously...

MARTIE You baste it with a...

MARCUS Baste it...

MARTIE With maple syrup.

MARCUS But you got to be patient. Got you got to do it to the very end. Because if you do it too early, it's going to burn. So you want to take some good butter, take some of that turkey fat, and all that beautiful stuff that comes out. Mix it, butter, maple syrup, maybe even some soy, to get that perfect color on it. And that's your last 15 to 20 minutes, and that's how you get it crispy.

MARTIE I'm doing that this year for something different. Now, for those of you who don't know, to spatchcock a turkey, just take the backbone out. You use your knife or kitchen shears or whatever, super sharp. Don't try to use something dull. You'll be in the emergency room on Thanksgiving. But to spatchcock the turkey, you're saying it promotes an even cooking, and you don't have to overcook the breast to get the rest of the joint meat more done.

MARCUS Exactly. You can get a small guy. You can get an eight to nine-pound turkey. And if you want that moment of the big, whole roasted turkey on the table, if you really want to do that — so roast a smaller guy, put it on the table. But the one that everybody's going to eat off should be the spatchcock one.

MARTIE That's a great idea. And then you can use the one that's overdone. You can use that for your soup or...


MARTIE: Your leftovers or whatever...

MARCUS And I know, very important to you, you can still get that Instagram moments. You can still be with the kids. And show like, this is what the hipsters are doing. You can still get that moment in.

MARTIE All right. Thank you, chef.

MARCUS Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. And I want to take you up on that Muscle Shoals. That's next.

MARTIE That's Chef Marcus Samuelsson. His book is called The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food. It's filled with wonderful stories, food history, and recipes from generations of African American cooks, a backbone of America's culinary traditions.

You can find many of chef's recipes on his website, MarcusSamuelsson.com. Samuelsson is spelled S-A-M-U-E-L-S-S-O-N. You can also keep up with all of his adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @MarcusCooks.

Next, we talk to chef Alex Guarnaschelli. You probably know her best as a judge on "Chopped" or from one of her other Food Network shows.

ALEX Let's face it, we are more likely to cook if we're not faced with four sinks full of dishes. It's like I almost don't even care what's on a sheet pan as long as it's homemade and I only have dishes for minutes. That just, like, exhilarating to me.

MARTIE Alex's new cookbook, Cook With Me, is filled with wonderful recipes that will help all of home cooks get through the holidays with ease. We're going to talk to her about that and a whole lot more on the next episode of Homemade.

If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss it. And don't forget, you can find thousands of recipes, meal ideas, and cooking how-tos from the world's largest community of cooks at Allrecipes.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This podcast was recorded in Birmingham, edited in Atlanta, and can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

Homemade is produced by Allrecipes with Executive Editor Jason Burnett. Thanks to our Pod People production team: Rachael King, Eliza Lambert, Tanya Ott, and Maya Kroth.

Thanks for listening! I'm Martie Duncan, and this is Homemade.

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