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Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home

4.3 3
by Marcus Samuelsson

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The award-winning celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author unwinds at home, sharing 150 relaxed, multicultural dishes
For two decades, Marcus Samuelsson has captivated food lovers with his brilliant culinary interpretations. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and trained in European kitchens, he is a world citizen turned


The award-winning celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author unwinds at home, sharing 150 relaxed, multicultural dishes
For two decades, Marcus Samuelsson has captivated food lovers with his brilliant culinary interpretations. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and trained in European kitchens, he is a world citizen turned American success story. Not only was Samuelsson the youngest chef ever to receive three stars from the New York Times, he is also a five-time James Beard Award recipient, a winner of Top Chef Masters, and a judge on Chopped. Chosen by President Obama to cook the first state dinner, he is now a charismatic TV host.

In this book, the chef who former President Bill Clinton says “has reinvigorated and reimagined what it means to be American” serves up the dishes he makes at his Harlem home for his wife and friends. The recipes blend a rainbow of the flavors he experienced in his travels—Ethiopian, Swedish, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern soul. His eclectic, casual food includes dill-spiced salmon; coconut-lime curried chicken; mac, cheese, and greens; chocolate pie spiced with Indian garam masala; and for kids, peanut noodles with slaw. This is an inside glimpse into how one of the world’s top chefs cooks in his home kitchen for those nearest and dearest to him.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Max Watman
…while at first the recipes seem somewhat chef-ed up…they're more straightforward than the ingredient list might imply. This playful, funky book…is full of photos of smiling people and insightful sticky-note-esque asides.
Publishers Weekly
Many New Yorkers like to think of themselves as citizens of the world, but Samuelsson has the credentials to prove it. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, he cooked his way across Switzerland, Austria, and France before settling as a celebrity chef at his renowned restaurants in Harlem, Red Rooster. In this, his fifth book, he draws from all the quarters of his lifetime, as well as from many other parts of the globe, and offers over 130 “recipes I cook at home.” The Swiss influence is apparent in dishes such as his Grandmother Helga’s meatballs in a crazy gravy made with chicken broth, cream, lingonberry preserves and pickled cucumber juice. East African cuisine is reflected in his doro wat, a chicken stew served over tortillas and topped with a chicken liver spread. There are French crepes, Americanized with rhubarb-strawberry compote and American baked potatoes made French with blue cheese. The collection is organized into nine somewhat random chapters. Early on, there is a section with ten “special days” recipes for holidays as disparate as Passover, Mardi Gras, and Kwanzaa. Then the final third of the book is organized by type with chapters on soups, sides, and desserts. In between is a helpful Cooking with Kids chapter, and the author’s playlists of “music to cook by,” which suggest that his love for seasonings extends to Salt-N-Pepa, run throughout. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"In doable dishes that favor bold spices, such as the garam masala and serranochiles in habesha lamb chops with apple-mango chutney, and crunchy and creamy components, such as the fried pickles served with fish & chips and the shrimp salad atop corn dogs, ­Samuelsson deliciously showcases his knowledge of global flavors and talent for combining them in unexpected waysVERDICT Highly recommended for adventurous and well-traveled home cooks, as well as fans of Susan Feniger’s Street Food."
—Library Journal

“Marcus is a great chef, a great cook, and a transformative figure in the landscape of American food. Seeing his style and his interests change over the years has been fascinating. I’ve watched him first hand as he eats his way through a city, soaking it all up, mind whirring. I guess this is what he’s been doing with all that information and experience: Marcus Off Duty. It’s fair to say you would always be a very lucky person if you were invited over to Marcus’s house for dinner. Now, with this book, everyone can join the party.”
—-Anthony Bourdain
“With Marcus Off Duty, Marcus Samuelsson steps out of the restaurant kitchen and shows you how to cook the global, casual, flavorful food he loves most. Every recipe, story, and tip is not only thoughtful and imaginative, but also completely accessible. It’s like having your own private cooking lesson and fabulous dinner party, hosted by one of the country’ s greatest culinary stars!”
—- Gail Simmons, food expert, TV personality, and author of Talking with My Mouth Full
“Marcus has a gift to take unexpected flavor combinations and make them sing on a plate. His exploration of other cultures outside his own makes this book an adventure to read at home and in the kitchen.”
—-Zarela Martinez, chef and author
“Marcus is the most interesting cook I know. He possesses a unique ability to bring the cuisine of the world to our family table. And here is the magical touch: He has the love to make it happen. Whether it’s a perfect poached egg, a biscuit, or a spicy grilled fish, he elevates all to an amazing level. Marcus is truly that cook who can transform the basics into the stellar, yet keep it real at the same time.”
—-Jonathan Waxman, chef and author
“Marcus teaches us inspired recipes that are approachable yet rich with the style and finesse that’s been his trademark. What I love the most about Marcus Off Duty is that he not only gives great recipes, but arms us with the tools and tricks to tackle them all.”
— John Besh, restaurateur, author, and philanthropist

Library Journal
In his first cookbook since his International Association of Culinary Professionals and James Beard Award-winning and New York Times best seller Yes, Chef, the former executive chef and co-owner of New York's Restaurant Aquavit offers multicultural dishes aimed squarely at the home cook. Samuelsson, who now holds forth at Harlem's Red Rooster, blends Ethiopian, Swedish, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern soul influences in these 125-plus recipes. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

MARCUS SAMUELSSON owns Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny's Supper Club, and Street Bird. He is the author of Marcus Off Duty; the New York Times bestseller Yes, Chef; the James Beard Award-winning Soul of a New Cuisine; and Aquavit. He frequently appears as a judge on Chopped and lives with his wife in Harlem.

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Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ann-meyer More than 1 year ago
Just LOVE this cookbook.  I have so many chef cookbooks I believed I would use often but found I was not as excited about the end results  as I had expected to be. I have enjoyed, as have my friends, many of Marcus' hits in this cookbook.  I have added it to my list of a-bit-unique gifts to select for cooking-loving friends.  It can be purchased and given with confidence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a 51-year-old man who just started cooking THIS YEAR, and I'm loving this cookbook!  The recipes offer multiple choices for every course, lots of different simple ethnic foods (I'm looking forward to trying his take on Cuban sandwiches), all at easy-to-moderate levels of complexity.  Any decent American kitchen, apt. or house, will have all the cooking receptacles, herbs and spices he calls for (I do happen to have berbere, which is in one recipe, while it's great that he explains alternatives to everything--I wish I'd had his guidance on how to substitute for kaffir lime leaves, with a Thai recipe four months ago!), and the dishes are fun to cook and eat.  (I'm doing the grilled sweet potatoes with spicy ketchup this weekend.  If I've got the time, I'll do the corndogs with shrimp salad, too.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the book has too many complicated recipes with many ingredients for at home use. I collect cookbooks and have many and this one I won't keep. I'll be selling it for sure.