A conversation with Marcus Samuelsson, inspiring the home cook to explore flavor


The home cook is ready to explore flavors, be engaged and find cooking inspiration. Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares his thoughts on food trends, cooking inspiration and the home cooking.

Today’s home cook is food savvy. From watching the many food television shows to eating at amazing restaurants, the home cook doesn’t want the tired, bland recipes from years past. World flavors, new cooking techniques and the willingness to experiment are within the home cook’s grasp. During a recent conversation with Chef Marcus Samuelsson, he shared some of his thoughts and impressions on the food trends, cooking techniques and home cooking could be going.

Chef, restaurateur and philanthropist Marcus Samuelsson is well known by foodies and food fans. As a successful restaurateur and acclaimed chef, the culinary personality has become a favorite on the Food Network. Recently, Samuelsson partnered with Spectrum Culinary Oils to inspire the home cook to use various culinary oils.

Culinary oils: Chef Marcus Samuelsson cooking photo provided by Spectrum® Evolve Beyond Olive

As part of the launch, I had the opportunity to talk with Chef Samuelsson. This post shares some of my thoughts and information that I gained from that conversation.

Talking about the home cook and how they cook, Samuelsson believes that the home cook is more engaged in the kitchen. Whether inspiration comes from travel, food programming or personal experiences, the home cook is more willing to explore new flavors and foods. Incorporating culinary oils into dishes is part of that exploration.

Culinary oils are more than just a recipe ingredients. The culinary oils bring a natural, better taste to traditional recipes. As the home cook becomes more comfortable in the kitchen, cooking and flavor experimentation will become easier. Flavor drives the home cook’s willingness to do more in the kitchen. When food tastes good, people will cook more.

A growing concern in the kitchen is allergies. More and more people are allergy conscious. Using culinary oils can make a dish more suitable for dietary restrictions while not compromising on taste. For example, a dish like mashed sweet potatoes would often contain butter. Some people would prefer not to use butter. Samuelsson’s sweet potato recipe uses Spectrum culinary oil instead of butter. By removing the dairy, the recipe becomes allergy friendly while enhancing the flavors in the recipe.

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This recipe is just one example of a substitution. Additionally, culinary oils can make a dish healthier and lighter. Like the allergy issue, some home cooks avoid butter for health reasons. But, fat is needed in some recipes. Culinary oils can be the flavorful, yet healthier, alternative. The culinary oils aren’t just a recipe component. They transform the dish with a natural, better taste.

Since food trends often extend to the home cook, Samuelsson commented that Pilipino food might be making its way to the home kitchen. Pilipino food blends Latin and Chinese flavors in its dishes. With more people looking to expand their kitchen comfortability, this cuisine and other regional cuisines could come to your dinner table.

Today’s home cook has influences from all over. From the recent vacation to the neighbor down the street, long gone are the days of the old, traditional flavors and recipes. Home cooks are willing to try new proteins, new spices and bold flavors. Chef driven recipes are easily translated for the home cook. Now, people don’t sit and drool at the television, they get into the kitchen and start cooking.

Spectrum Culinary Oil, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, photo provided by Spectrum Brands

My conversation with Chef Samuelsson was quite inspirational. While our family is always willing to explore new flavors and cuisines, sometimes we get into a cooking rut. What busy family hasn’t relied on the InstaPot one too many times for dinner? But, even that convenient way of cooking doesn’t have to be flavorless. Adding some culinary oil, bolder spices or even a different protein can make a huge difference to that typical weeknight dinner.

While our household enjoys cooking and cooks often, we were ready for a bigger cooking challenge over the weekend. Our Sunday dinner was Chef Samuelsson’s Whole Roasted Snapper recipe. While the recipe had several components, it wasn’t too difficult. Everyone commented that the flavor was superb. We will definitely try this recipe again.

The biggest take away from our Sunday dinner wasn’t just a delicious meal, it was reinvigorating our desire to cook more and better. Of course, convenience always has it place, but Sunday dinner can and, in our house, will be more. For example, peri peri from a family trip to South Africa will be featured in this Sunday’s dinner.

Cooking inspiration can come from anywhere. Whether it is from Chef Samuelsson’s  recent appearance on Chopped or a visit to one of his restaurants. Or, the inspiration can come from reading his recipes from Spectrum Culinary Oils or just from this post. Wherever the cooking inspiration comes from, let it guide you in the kitchen.

Next: Culinary oils, inspirational cooking with better tasting ingredients

Are you ready to get cooking? What’s on your dinner plate? Share your ideas or dinner with us on social media with the tag #FoodSided or comment below.

Food flavors our lives and starts the conversation around the table. Don’t let that life be bland.