Yankees get a new star — chef in Marcus Samuelsson

Apr 12, 2022, 2:03 AM | Updated: 5:20 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees are getting a new star — chef.

Marcus Samuelsson is expanding to Yankee Stadium this season, opening a Streetbird food stand behind section 112 in the right-field area of the lower deck, partnering with the team and Legends Hospitality.

Offerings include a hot bird sandwich, chicken and waffles and cornbread.

“I feel like it’s such a privilege to be part of the most famous team and the most famous stadium in the world,” he said Tuesday.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, Samuelsson was hired at 23 as executive chef of New York’s Aquavit and gained fame from a three-star review by The New York Times’ Ruth Reichl in September 1995. He left in 2010 after reducing his role for several years, and opened Red Rooster in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood later that year.

Samuelsson has expanded to more than a dozen restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Canada and Scandinavia.

New York City restaurants were closed to indoor dining on March 16, 2020, and weren’t allowed to reopen until the following Feb. 12, and then at only 25% capacity. Capacity was raised to 35% on Feb. 26, 50% on March 19, 75% on May 7 and did not reach 100% until May 19.

“I feel like I’m really proud about what we as an industry as a whole accomplished in the very toughest time we’ve ever had,” he said. “I feel very positive about present and future because people want to come back into the restaurant, people want to be around people.”

Samuelsson said New York City’s outdoor dining has been key to financial survival at Red Rooster, which seats 90 in the dining room, 20 at the bar plus 50 on the heated patio.

“Outdoors saved restaurants. It’s that simple,” he said. “It really saved jobs during the toughest times we all went through in New York and customers in New York stayed with us: They bought home delivery, they bought T-shirts, they supported restaurants and we created a very thick bond between the restaurants, the neighborhood restaurants, and our audience.”

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