Harlem Food Event: BlueStar + Marcus Samuelsson Unveil New Stoves and a New Restaurant: Red Rooster Harlem.

Weekend recap: There’s something Red Hot in Harlem.

[Sorry this has taken so long to post, but the weekend got away from us!]

Last Thursday night was a very long-awaited and exciting night for BlueStar, Marcus Samuelsson……and myself. The former two launched a new range of stoves and a restaurant space and I – well, I got to meet a cooking idol of mine: Marcus Samuelsson.

Marcus Samuelsson

The event – which went from 6:30-9:30 Thursday night at Red Rooster Harlem’s soon to open venue, located at 310 Lenox Avenue, in between 125th & 126th Streets in Harlem – was thrown to celebrate the fruitful collaboration between BlueStar and Samuelsson, of which there are many Keith Wolf, who is the Vice President of Marketing at BlueStar, and host for the evening, introduced Samuelsson who discussed his new branded oven ranges he helped design for BlueStar. Wolf explained how BlueStar ovens are professional-grade ranges that up until now have been made exclusively for home use, but now are venturing their way into professional kitchens. Obviously, Red Rooster Harlem’s kitchen is well equipped with a full line of BlueStar oven Ranges. Though this is not confirmed, we would also assume that BlueStar is an investor in the restaurant, seeing as they are putting so much into its promotion.

We thought the hike up from downtown would be a pain, but it was actually easy and relatively quick – our Q to 3 train connection only took us 35 minutes from the Union Square station, although we did have to transfer at 42nd Street, which is usually a rush-hour mess. However, the “Friends and Family” tasting was well-worth the commute and once we made it above ground, we immediately found the party; the subway exist is conveniently located half a block away from Red Rooster’s new home, which will make going to the restaurant much more convenient.

One of the big elephants in the room surrounding Red Rooster’s opening – besides the fact that it has been delayed for months – is the whether people will actually want to make the trek up to Harlem. Is Samuelsson’s name and the promise of good food alone, strong enough to make people come, or has the chef been too geographically ambitious? This question can really only be answered after Red Rooster’s opening, but if this event served as any kind of indicator, the outlook is promising. The turnout was amazing and the space was jam-packed pretty much the entire time and some of the food offerings were spectacular.

The new Red Rooster space.

A “Friends and Family” tasting, – a “rehearsal” of sorts for restaurants to practice before opening to the public – is really fun, because guests get to sample all the experiments going on in the soon-to-open kitchen. That night, Samuelsson’s team was pushing out a variety of tasty morsels, though our favorites were the Butternut Squash soup shots and the prosciutto with caramelized spiced nut and date “cigars,” served with basil as a garnish. Unfortunately those are the two dishes that we didn’t photograph, because well, we were too busy eating them.

Hard-shell ceviche tacos!

Our other favorite dish were the small hard-shell fish ceviche tacos. I am sure Andrea Bergquist, Red Rooster’s Executive Chef, and Samuelsson’s right hand-gal, had something to do with that one.

Bergquist is a Colombian/ Swedish chef is seriously well-versed in World Cuisine. When she worked at Tabla Restaurant in Midtown under Chef Floyd Cardoz, her contribution to the Indian restaurant, according to Cardoz himself, was a great ceviche dish. Yes, ceviche at an Indian restaurant, we know. We love Bergquist here at Indefinite Transit – obviously we have the whole ‘Colombian’ bit in common, but also because she is such a genuine and wonderful person. [We wrote a full profile on Bergquist and will be posted soon; keep checking back for that!]

Gate Haile aka: Mrs. Samuelsson.

Also in attendance at the event, was Samuelsson’s wife, model Gate Haile. The woman is drop-dead gorgeous, which is stating the obvious, but she is also an incredibly sweet person. It was a really nice surprise, actually, that Samuelsson and Haile were so genuine and friendly, because many public figures, especially in the celebrity chef scene are not. (We are talking from experience).

We talked to Haile about possibly doing an exclusive Indefinite Transit photo shoot and she was quite open to the idea and we are in talks now with her people. This is very exciting! [Make sure to check back for more on this as well!]

Here are some pictures from the event.

Marcus Samuelsson conversing.

Marcus Samuelsson.

Samuelsson prepares to take the "stage."

Keith Wolf, VP of Marketing for BlueStar introduces the BlueStar Range line that Samuelsson helped design.

A demo of the fully customizable BlueStar line.

A busy bar is a sucessful bar.

Samuelsson explains why BlueStar stoves are his ranges of choice.

Samuelsson unveils the new stove. (My flash failed me.)

Samuelsson shows off the features of his BlueStar range.

Now for the food!

Fried Dough balls dusted in brown sugar and cinnamon!

Fried chicken.

Mini red-velvet cupcakes!

Sneak-peek of the new BlueStar clad kitchen.


Our date for the night – the beautiful Megan W.

They are saying it will be three weeks ’till opening night.


One Response to “Harlem Food Event: BlueStar + Marcus Samuelsson Unveil New Stoves and a New Restaurant: Red Rooster Harlem.”
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