Samuelsson ‘Very Excited’ About New Restaurant

June 10, 2015

Acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson has been busy in Bermuda, officially opening his new signature restaurant Marcus’ and taking the time to interact with fans as he promoted his latest book, saying that he’s both “very excited” and “a little bit nervous” about his latest island venture.

Chef Samuelsson told Bernews, “First of all, I’m super excited. This is two years in making; it’s taken great teamwork from everyone. From the Greens, to my team to everyone here at the Hamilton Princess. I’m very excited, and a little bit nervous, but you should be nervous. We’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to celebrate it.”

When asked how his experience in Bermuda has changed his approach to business and cooking, Chef Samuelsson said, “Well, first of all, I learned a lot about Bermuda that I didn’t know before; I enjoyed that a lot.

“When I came down here, the Greens had a vision, and so far they’ve executed on all of those things. From building the restaurant, from renovating the whole hotel, from being part of setting up America’s Cup; getting the America’s Cup to Bermuda, the whole island gets engaged and it creates jobs and creates a sense of local pride that is very important.

“For us to be a tiny part of that – those aspirations are something I bring back to my staff and say, “If you work together, if you have a vision, it can get done.”

When asked for details on the menu at his new restaurant Marcus’, Chef Samuelsson said, “We learned a lot last summer when we had a little pop up. Although the menu is much bigger today than the pop up, we learned pretty quickly that we wanted to have local fish daily catch on and we will always have the daily fresh fish on that.

“We have four fishermen that go out and catch every day. The chowder bites was a very big success last summer, so that’s something that we brought back on.

“We have a big grill, so that’s sort of the heart of our cooking. Getting fresh seafood and just putting it straight on the grill and celebrating that and putting that straight on – that forces us to have local food, and also very fresh food. One dish that we wanted to bring back was a crab cake; it’s of the island, it’s delicious, but it’s also something that everyone in the whole family can enjoy.

Marcus Samuelsson on Bermuda and his new restaurant Marcus’:

“I have a preference for good food and good times and enjoying that. That’s what Marcus’ should be about. It doesn’t draw a line between fine dining or anything like that; it’s basically local and fun dining.

“If you have a business, come to us. Maybe you just want to have a drink, have a cocktail in the bar. Maybe you’re here on a family vacation, you can do that. Or a date.

“We want to have a restaurant today that is formal enough so if you want to bring your jacket and a tie, you can do that. But, also, if you don’t care to do that and you just want to come and have a great time, have some great bites, enjoy your friends and family, the great view, and check out some fantastic art, we’re definitely the place.”

When asked about using local ingredients, Chef Samuelsson said, “Leo, our executive chef, has spent a lot of time here. He also lives here now; he moved from New York.

“Working with the different farms, finding everything from onions to corn and to all these local ingredients – that was key for us. Our job was to learn about the island, discover it, present it as chefs and make it delicious for you. That’s our job.

“That’s what we did in Harlem. That’s what we’re going to do in Bermuda. We want to learn from the locals, continue to be on that journey.”

When asked about his island-based mentoring program, Chef Samuelsson said, “It all stems actually from both Andrew and Alex Green, who were very passionate about training the next generation of Bermuda’s hospitality youths. They’re ready to be sent across the world and be ambassadors for us.

“We took on that challenge by having one young student come up to spend a week with us in New York. I envision us to grow that. We have restaurants in Stockholm. We have restaurants all across Scandinavia and New York, of course. As we grow in the U.S. and as we grow throughout Europe, we want to be able to have sent young hard-working Bermudians to those locations so it’s a real opportunity.

“Somebody opened a door for me, both to Sweden and France, so this is something that I want to take on that challenge and be a champion of that and really create a path for the next generation of hospitality industry here.”

When asked if he plans to spend more personal time in Bermuda as his business grows, Chef Samuelsson said, “Every time I’m down here I’m like, “I can’t believe I was down here so short this time.”

“I’m here for a week this time. I’m going to come back in July. I’ll be back in August. Hopefully, you can’t get rid of me. I love being here. It’s a great time and people have been so friendly to me and my wife.”


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  1. Jus' Askin' says:


  2. PBanks says:

    Encouraging and exciting. Well done to Bermuda for making such a positive impression on Marcus and I think the positive words from the chef himself will resonate with many of us.

    Come on down anytime, Marcus. Spread the word to your friends too :)