The Truth About Marcus Samuelsson's Wife

Marcus Samuelsson is a well-recognized figure in the culinary world due to the success of his restaurants, such as Red Rooster in New York City's Harlem, his numerous James Beard awards and nominations, and his regular appearances as a guest judge on cooking shows like Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay. While Samuelsson often appears on the screen, his wife, Gate Haile, who goes by Maya personally, has less of a media presence.

Perhaps the reason why we don't see Haile on TV is because she's busy popping up on the pages of fashion magazines and doing charitable work. When Voss Foundation named her its 2013 Women Helping Women Honoree, it mentioned that Haile is an international model who has been featured in Vogue and has modeled for high-fashion labels such as Valentino and Armani. The organization also recognized Haile for her work as the co-founder and president of Three Goats, a "non-profit organization committed to improving the health and well-being of families and children living in Ethiopia by providing sustainable access to vital and renewable resources," which she started with Samuelsson in 2012.

Marcus Samuelsson and his family

So where did the pair first meet? In a New York Post interview with the chef, he divulged that the main reason why he loves his Harlem home is because it's where he met Haile for the first time. "Not long after I moved in and finished the apartment, I decided to have a housewarming party," Samuelsson said. "That was when I met Maya. Someone brought her. She's a model, about 6 feet tall and stunning. But the main thing that attracted me is that she's a very sweet girl."

Once the two met, they immediately clicked because of their shared background and interests, despite an age gap of over 10 years. When Samuelsson and Haile talked to Glamour, the latter said, "Marcus was born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden and then moved to Harlem. I was born in Ethiopia, raised in Holland and then moved to... Harlem. How many people have experienced those things? Right away our shared backgrounds were something we connected on. And we both love basketball."

The couple eventually tied the knot in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2009 (via Martha Stewart Weddings). In 2016, Haile gave birth to their son, Zion Mandela, in 2016 (via People). And while Samuelsson takes charge of the kitchen at his restaurants, at home, Haile is usually the one who cooks the family meals. "She makes an Ethiopian chicken stew that I love," Samuelsson said in a People interview. "Nothing beats coming home to a homemade meal."