The Most Memorable Meal Marcus Samuelsson Ever Ate

Marcus Samuelsson is known for his long-time role as a judge on Food Network's "Chopped" and for his PBS food series "No Passport Required." But you may not know that the celebrity chef's acclaimed restaurant in Harlem, Red Rooster, also pitched in with José Andrés's World Central Kitchen organization to help feed the New York community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, per NPR, and that he taught a virtual cooking class with Selena Gomez for her HBO show "Selena + Chef." Food is definitely a central part of his life and the Ethiopian-born culinary genius has a real reverence for his craft.

Samuelsson revealed in an interview with Star Chefs that the texture of an ingredient is one of the most important aspects he considers. He said, "I always think about texture ... different types of textures of food. For example, if you have a melon, I think about melon granité, melon foam, hot melon soup, cold melon soup, melon ice cream, melon sorbet ... one ingredient gives you six different types of textures which will then drive the flavors." This philosophy may be why one restaurant, located in Spain, was where Samuelsson experienced his most memorable meal.

El Bulli was considered one of the best in the world

When quizzed by Food Network about his most memorable meal, Samuelsson had no problem coming up with his answer. He said, "That's easy: El Bulli, with Ferran and Albert." If you are not familiar, that's probably because El Bulli is no longer open. But when it was, per The World's 50 Best, it was the best restaurant in the world. Located in the breathtaking hillside of Roses, Spain, El Bulli was the brainchild of Ferran Adrià — who, according to NY Eater, is the "emperor of modernist cuisine" — and his brother, chef Albert Adrià.

Ferran Adrià definitely isn't afraid to play with the texture of foods, and El Bulli was known for its foams and spherification. And his legacy is still alive in the food community. In fact, José Andrés, who worked under Adrià, recreated El Bulli's "liquid olive" as a tribute to his former boss, per The Bazaar. El Bulli was known for pushing the envelope and creating that which had not been experienced by the palate. Among the dishes one might have eaten at this restaurant are savory tomato water ice with fresh oregano and almond milk pudding, as well as smoke foam, which is described by The World's 50 Best as a "glass filled with smoked water foam and served with oil, salt and croutons." Based on these two menu items alone, we can only imagine what Samuelsson's meal was like!