Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares his best tips for flavorful grilled meals, interview

Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson / provided by Cox Farms

Chef Marcus Samuelsson always brings flare and flavor to the table. While many people have had the pleasure of eating at one of his many restaurants, the celebrated chef appreciates that his knowledge can help any cook feel more confident in front of the grill. With fresh produce accompanying that food, the meal will always be delicious.

During a recent interview with Chef Marcus, he graciously offered some advice regarding grilling, using fresh produce, and how to get everyone around the table to be a little more adventurous with their food choices.

First and foremost, Chef Marcus wants grillers to understand that preparation is key. In order to get that maximized flavor, it vital to start the process with really hot grill. From there, the flavor starts to build.

While Chef Marcus happily adds some meat or fish to his grill, he encourages everyone to switch it up a little. As he said, “it’s summer time and beautiful vegetables on the grill can get maximized BBQ flavor.”

He explained, “you want to brush those vegetables with some olive oil so they do not stick to the grill. The key is to char the vegetables well to create that caramelization. On top of that, add a glaze, with a little maple syrup, miso sauce, soy, and a little lemon. Once the vegetables caramelize, lower the heat and make sure it is cooked through.”

While some grillers can fear the char, that element is vital. Not only does it bring depth of flavor, it also is a textural component.

As Chef Marcus said, “to build a great grilled dish, you want to build up textures that are contrasting.” In his recipe, it is a celebration of layers of textures. While the Bright Farms, Mucci Farms, and Cox Farms ingredients ensure that that the ingredients are the freshest, most flavorful, they should be treated with care and thoughtfulness.

Chef Marcus wants everyone to appreciate that starting with quality ingredients is key. As he said, “we are letting the vegetables and fruits really speak for themselves.” From that foundation, any recipe will be even better.

Even if people are not as accustomed to grilling vegetables, Chef Marcus has a simple concept that will grow confidence. It is just about going out and grilling more. As he said, “cook as much as you can.” From appreciating the heat zones to learning about indirect heat, practice is key having a better understanding of the hows, whats and whys.

Most importantly, Chef Marcus wants everyone to know that “mistakes is part of cooking and learning something.” In the end, if something goes wrong, you move on and try again. An over charred vegetable is not the end of the world. The next time that a person cooks that food, they will learn to better manage the heat or try a different approach.

Grilling and summer go hand in hand. Chef Marcus shared, “when you put something on the grill, the smells, aromas, and fragrances of beautiful food” have people gathering around that space. “People want to be part of it.” With the bounty of fresh vegetables from greenhouses grown all year round from businesses like Bright Farms, it is a win for everyone.

And, as Chef Marcus reminded me, “we can eat better not only for you and your family but also for the environment. That is a win win.”

This summer, light up the grill, grab some fresh vegetables, and enjoy a meal with family and friends. Food is that common connector, and it is time to ignite another conversation around the table.