Samuelsson is a native or Ethiopia who was adopted by a Swedish family at 4 years old. He began cooking in his mid-teens and climbed to culinary fame at the age of 23 at the Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit in New York, which received a three-star review from The New York Times. He's since appeared on TV and won Bravo!'s Top Chef Masters. Red Rooster in Harlem is one of his restaurants, and he recently released the memoir Yes, Chef. In it, he expresses an admiration for and kinship with Leah Chase. The two chefs are preparing a $200 per person dinner at August. Signed copies of Samuelsson's book are available at Octavia Books.
Samuelsson also will appear and sign books at Whole Foods Market in Metairie from noon to 2 p.m. Friday.