Entertaining with Marcus Samuelsson


One of the hottest names in the culinary world stopped by Macy’s Herald Square’s newly renovated 8th floor Home Department to give us some tips on entertaining. Marcus is a world-renowned chef, owner of a Harlem restaurant named Red Rooster, and judge on Food Network’s primetime show “Chopped.” If anyone knows how to throw an elegant shindig, it’s this guy!

Chef Samuelsson believes that entertaining is all about having fun; for guests and host. He likes to start dinner parties with a cocktail or wine, one of his favorites being the Swedish spiced wine drink, glögg. Greeting your guests with a drink and good music sets the mood and gets everyone in a happy spirit.

As you transition to dinner, Marcus likes to serve comfort food that is impressive on the tongue, but forgiving on the watch. Seafood is always a great option for entertaining because it does not require hours and hours of toiling over the stove. The chef tells us that salmon is great for dinner parties, for this reason. Mix it with a salad, and you’ve got a delicious main course that is fresh and filling.

What better to end a meal with than coffee or espresso? Keep it simple by making an easy desert, like a cake or pie. Marcus served us his delicious Drunken Rum Cake. Talk about a crowd-pleaser! I was seriously tempted to lick my plate (okay, maybe I actually did. Shhhh!). His light, airy, delicious cake pairs well with a dark, bold espresso. Keep it simple by letting guests service themselves. The Nespresso makes great single-serving espresso pods that make prep and clean-up a breeze.

Entertaining a crowd can be fun for everyone when you keep it simple. For more tips and recipe ideas, check out Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s book: “Marcus Off Duty,” on bookshelves now!

I want to help you keep it simple, so my gift to you is Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Drunken Rum Cake recipe. I hope you put it to good use. Cheers!

Drunken Rum Cake
Recipe courtesy of Chef Marcus Samuelsson


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons pastry cream filling mix
8 eggs, separated, with whites whipped separately
1/2 pint dark rum
4 vanilla beans
2 pinches salt


5.5 oz butter
3.5 oz water
5.5 oz sugar
7 oz dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla beans
Turbinado sugar


Mix all the dry ingredients. Mix all the wet ingredients. Whip the egg whites until stiff. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and then add the egg whites and mi well. Pour the batter into 2 oz molds that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 300 F for 15-20 minutes, check with a cake tester to make sure the cake is baked through. Let cool down a few minutes, take out of the mold. Make the syrup and pour over the cake.

SERVES 6 to 8

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