Marcus Samuelsson's Beard House Menu Evolution


JBF's director of house programming Izabela Wojcik shares some of her favorite Beard House menus that JBF Award–winning chef Marcus Samuelsson has cooked throughout our 30-year history.

St. Lucia Day Celebration
December 13, 1995

This was Marcus Samuelsson’s first-ever Beard House dinner when he was still chef at NYC’s Aquavit.

Hors d’Oeuvre

  • St. Lucia Saffron Buns with Gravlax and Mustard–Espresso Sauce
  • Matjes Herring with Potatoes
  • Tea-Smoked Venison with Apple Salad
  • Danish Liver Pâté with Pickled Cucumber


  • Muscovy Duck Consommé with Foie Gras Mousse and Confit
  • Roasted Salmon with Thyme–Horseradish Crust, Crayfish, and Crayfish Broth
  • Elderflower Sorbet
  • Plum-Roasted Rack of Lamb with Aquavit-Scented Red Cabbage and Glögg Sauce
  • Swedish Gingerbread with Mascarpone ice Cream and Licorice Sauce Gingersnap Cookies

May 3, 2000

Marcus’s first James Beard Award was Rising Star Chef of the Year 1999. Back then, we had a tradition of asking winners to cook at the Beard House the following year before the Awards. This is the May 2000 menu to celebrate his 1999 award.

  • Tandoori-Smoked Salmon with Quail Egg and Brown Butter Vinaigrette
  • Cured Tuna Cones with Smoked Beet Foam, Beluga Caviar, and Wasabi
  • Caramelized Lobster with Seaweed and Crispy Veal Brain Lollipop
  • Foie Gras Ganache with Wild Asparagus–Morel Tart and Spiced Rhubarb Ice Cream
  • Kobe Beef with Truffle Tea and Pickled Ramps
  • Boucheron Terrine with Dried Tomatoes and Celery Sorbet
  • Chocolate–Carrot Cake with White Coffee Foam
  • Petit Fours with Spring Berries
December 13, 2001

Marcus cooked many times at the Beard House in honor of Santa Lucia, the Swedish holiday tradition. We would have Swedish singers to come and walk through the Beard House. The tradition includes virgins dressed in white with a wreath of lit candles on their heads singing songs. This one in particular is the 2001 dinner. 9/11 had just happened and we had a somber fall. But we were so happy to have Marcus to celebrate with us and to uphold our annual tradition that we had established with him.

Hors d’Oeuvre

  • Smoked Salmon Pralines
  • Ginger Snap–Foie Gras Lattes
  • Kobe Beef Ravioli with Truffle Tea
  • Lobster Hot Dogs
  • Smoked Eel Tacos
  • Morel Milkshake
  • Saffron Buns


  • Prawn Stuffed–Venison with Apple–Cardamom Broth
  • Foie Gras Ganache with Tuna Pata Negra and Orange–Clove Sorbet
  • Hot-Smoked Char with Salsify Tagliatelle, Warm Truffle Foam, Cucumber, and Lime
  • Warm Matjes Herring with Celery–Pear Purée and Egg Yolk Froth
  • Fourme d’Ambert Soup with Olive Oil Sorbet, Figs, Celery, and Pine Nuts
  • Fruit Salad > Jelly, Dried, Crispy, Sweet, and Sour
Celebrating Sweden
June 7, 2003

Riingo was Aquavit’s second NYC eatery, but it has since closed. To celebrate Sweden, Riingo featured their team, including Marcus and chef Nils Noren.

Hors d’Oeuvre

  • Tuna with Goat Cheese
  • Broiled Eel Caesar Salad
  • Kobe Tartare with Sansho Peppers
  • Hamachi on Vermicelli Crisps


  • Citrus-Marinated Salmon with Mustard Emulsion
  • Shellfish Jelly with Marinated Lobster and Salmon Roe
  • Soy-Poached Bass with Sweet Potato
  • Kombu-Cured Duck with Marinated Mushrooms, Spicy Citrus Salad, and Foie Gras Ganache
  • Västerbotten Tart with Caramelized Bacon and Apple Sorbet
  • Chocolate with Raspberries, Wild Strawberries, and Vanilla
Harlem Sensations
November 13, 2012

This was Marcus's first menu representing Red Rooster Harlem at the Beard House.

  • Jerk Trout with Celery leaf, Nut Salad, and Green Goddess Sauce
  • Uptown Ramen > Lobster with Crispy Clam, Pork Belly, Housemade Teff Noodles, and Miso
  • Shrimp and Grits with Nantucket Bay Scallop, Smoked Collard Greens, and Crystal Sauce Aïoli
  • Lamb Loin–Goat Croquette Duo with Smoked Butternut Squash Purée, Roasted Autumn Vegetables, and Mint Yogurt
  • Red Velvet 3000

Harlem EatUp!
May 9, 2016

This is from Harlem EatUp’s group dinner in May 2016. This menu is very representative of Marcus’s current professional and personal status: he’s a successful, experienced chef and restaurateur; he’s a passionate ambassador for Harlem; and he’s the founder of Harlem EatUp.

Hors d’Oeuvre

  • Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Broth
  • Blue Crab Deviled Egg with Crab Roe Mayonnaise, Maryland Blue Crab, and Pickled Radishes
  • Chicken Liver Mousse on Caramelized Toasts
  • Zucchini with Eggplant, Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Mint, Goat Cheese, and Puff Pastry


  • Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo with Brazil Nuts, Sorrel Tea, and Cilantro
  • Caramelized Cod with Apple Broth and Charred Green Tomatoes
  • Braised Pork Curry with Rice Porridge
  • Jerk-Braised Beef Short Rib with Red Chief Lentils and Pea Sauce
  • Chocolate Layer Cheesecake with Caramel Whiskey Sauce
JBF's 30th Anniversary!
August 13, 2017

This menu is the one that Marcus served to honor our 30th anniversary and was really special. Marcus presented the Yard Bird Stew in the dining room and served the family-style dish with sparklers. It was quite a show and quite a special menu for him.

Hors d’Oeuvre

  • Kobe Beef Kitfo with Injera and Farmer Cheese
  • Herring Tacos with Bleak Roe


  • Mom's Soup > Mushroom Broth with Roasted Beef Heart, Marrow Dumpling, Apple, and Cabbage
  • Heirloom Tomatoes with Smoked Salmon, Cured Egg, and Charred Corn
  • Shrimp and Fermented Grits with Broken Rice, Gumbo Broth, and Gorée Island Oil
  • Bird Bird Royale > Duck Tartare with Bird Ganache, Candied Peanuts, and Gastrique; and Yard Bird with Doro Wat Stew, Peanuts, and Herb Salad
  • Red Berry Tart