A childhood spent cooking with his grandmother fostered Marcus Samuelsson’s love of fresh, local food. Originally from Ethiopia, Samuelsson grew up in Sweden and studied at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg before apprenticing at restaurants in Switzerland and France. At 23, he landed in New York and was promoted to executive chef at the acclaimed Aquavit within one year. Following a 1999 Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation, Samuelsson broadened the scope of his work, penning multiple books — including the award-winning The Soul of New Cuisine and his new memoir Yes, Chef — in addition to hosting television cooking shows Inner Chef and Urban Cuisine. The Top Chef Master winner also stays busy with his Scandinavian-meets-soul-food Harlem restaurant Red Rooster, which opened in 2010.