1971

Born in Ethiopia.


1972

After the three of us contract tuberculosis, my mother takes my sister Linda and I to the hospital. Sadly, my mother succumbs to the disease.


1973

Linda and I are adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson and brought to Sweden.


1977

My grandmother Helga is the first to teach me how to cook and I’m exposed to lingonberries and blueberries for the first time.


1980

Music becomes an important part of my life. I purchase my first Bob Marley album.


1985

Joined GAIS soccer team and started a lifelong love of soccer. I’m pretty sure I sported a jheri curl during this time.


1989

After studying at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, I apprenticed in Switzerland to expand my culinary knowledge.


1993

I finally get the chance to go to France and apprentice at some of the world’s best restaurants.


1993

My grandmother Helga passes away on the cusp of my culinary career. I owe her my inspiration and dedicate my passion to her.


1994

Arrive in America for an apprenticeship with Aquavit and work my way up.


1995

Receive a 3-star rating from the New York Times while Executive Chef of Aquavit. I’m 23 and the youngest chef to ever so do at the time.


1996

I am finally able to buy my first suit. My dear father, Lennart, passes away.


1999

Awarded the Rising Star Chef Award from the James Beard Foundation.


2000

After nearly 30 years, I return to Ethiopia and I meet my Ethiopian father, Tsegie. I also meet my 8 sisters and brothers for the first time.


2001

The World Trade Center collapses and changes the way I look at cooking and my community.


2006

Harlem calling. I start dreaming of opening Red Rooster as I bike from 145th Street to Central Park North just observing and learning about the neighborhood.


2009

Gate Maya Haile and I marry in Ethiopia in the presence of our families and friends from the US and Europe who have flown a great distance to join us.


2009

I have the honor of cooking the first State Dinner for President Barack Obama for the Prime Minister of India.


2010

Red Rooster Harlem opens on 125th and Lenox Avenue. It fulfills my dream to showcase American comfort food with hints of my Swedish and African roots. I want this to be a place where people from all walks of life break bread together.


2011

FoodRepublic.com launches as a place for men who want to explore new culture of food through stories, interviews, global conversations, and experiences.


2012

Ginny’s Supper Club opens in March. A modern incarnation of glamorous speakeasies, it’s our tribute to the Harlem Renaissance.

“Yes, Chef” is published in June. I hit the road on a multi-city book tour where I meet my incredible fans and do guest chef stints in some of the country’s best kitchens.

American Table Cafe and Bar at Lincoln Center opens late September in Alice Tully Hall. It’s soon followed up by the opening of American Table Brasserie and Bar in Stockholm.


2015

Streetbird Rotisserie opens in Harlem in April.

The inaugural Harlem EatUp festival is held in Morningside Park, New York, NY on May 14-17. Harlem EatUp! was created by Marcus and Herb Karlitz to celebrate the food, culture, art, music and people that make Harlem special.

Marcus’ Bermuda opens in May inside the Hamilton Princess Hotel in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Eatery Social Taqueria opens it’s first location in Malmö, Sweden at the Clarion Malmö Hotel in June.

Marcus is named the Co-Chair of Careers Through Culinary Arts Program along with Mark Weiss in September.