cover image The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem

The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem

Marcus Samuelsson, photos by Bobby Fisher. HMH/Rux Martin, $37.50 (384p) ISBN 978-0-544-63977-5

With four cookbooks and two memoirs already under his belt, Samuelsson (Marcus off Duty) at last turns his attention to what has made him a celebrity in New York and beyond, his Harlem restaurant, the Red Rooster. Harlem and its history are never far from the chef’s mind, with numerous profiles of uptown denizens, like Billy Mitchell of the Apollo Theater, sharing space with soulful recipes and joyful tales of working uptown. The section on chicken is entitled “Birdland” and, as with each of the dozen chapters, comes with a suggested playlist of classics to listen to while cooking. The chapter showcases his classic fried yardbird, with its dark meat chicken soaked overnight in a marinade of coconut milk, buttermilk, and spices. For brunch, there is Aunt Maybel’s ham buns and chocolate gravy, and we learn that when President Obama came for dinner there were short ribs braised in plum sauce along with a vegetable medley featuring the unlikely combination of sweet potatoes, green beans, and jalapenos. Fisher’s food and street photography colorfully captures the character of Samuelsson’s dishes as well as the characters that inhabit his neighborhood. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell. (Oct.)