MARCUS POP FOOD: Week One at Red Rooster

Week One at Red Rooster

We're finally open! These last few days have been such a rush of excitement.

We've had about 200 covers every night and have been getting so much positive feedback from the guests and staff. It's allowed me to become more driven than I could even imagine and I'm eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.

In light of and despite all of this, I can't help but notice the comments, anonymous and not so anonymous, with racial undertones simmering beneath. All I'm able to do is laugh about it, because I'm extremely proud of the accomplishments I've made since arriving in New York to work, with just $300 in my pocket.

This, to me, has always been about the celebration of culture, diversity and traditions, and I refuse to allow anyone take attention away from this.

As for the questions of whether or not I'll be a regular fixture in the kitchen? I can't even fathom them because cooking is what I live for.

The opening of Red Rooster has created 80 jobs, 60 of which have gone to people in the neighborhood. Some of my staff is young, and haven't worked in fine dining. It makes me happy to watch them grow and work as a team. It's been a learning process for us all.

It really takes a village to raise a child. With the efforts and support of numerous people, we've been able to add another fabulous place to Harlem's legendary dining scene.

I can't express how happy I am to finally tell folks "Yes we're open", after so many months of "Not yet" and "Soon".

I'm excited to announce that we hope to be serving lunch after the holidays and are planning our first cooking class.

Happy Holidays and I can't wait for you to join us at Red Rooster!