FSD Exclusive: Marcus Samuelsson partners with RA for street foods concept

Marcus Samuelsson, Restaurant AssociatesMay 19—Restaurant Associates has partnered with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson to introduce a new culinary concept called Global Street Foods by Marcus Samuelsson, exclusively for RA’s corporate cafés and cultural dining outlets.

Samuelsson will create menus that feature authentic street foods from 12 different cultures. Dick Cattani, CEO of the Premier Catering Division (RA, Flik International and Wolfgang Puck Catering) for Compass Group, said the partnership started with Samuelsson’s partner, Derek Fleming, contacting him regarding joining forces.

“During this past year we’ve seen an explosion of pop-up restaurants and food trucks becoming the rage in all urban markets and customers clamoring for more comfort foods,” Cattani said. “I thought with the breadth and depth of Marcus’ travels and experience in this area, Global Street Foods by Marcus Samuelsson would fill the void we were looking for.”

Cattani said the concept will be set up as a Global Street Foods Station where each week one country or region will be featured. The station will offer a complete meal with beverage and dessert that fits the country.

“What we hope happens is that on one day the guest will select a complete meal and on another day maybe just one item, say a skewer or something to go with their salad bar selection so we have elasticity with the menu,” Cattani said. “Initially, we have 12 countries so the menu will change every week for 12 weeks. For mid-sized accounts the station may be offered one day a week. Smaller accounts may offer the menu at the Chef’s Table. Within six to eight months all RA accounts will be offering Global Street Foods. Flik will follow then the rest of the Compass world.”

The menu will include items such as squid grilled on a stick from Thailand; fresh grilled bánh mì with shredded pork, cucumber and mango from Vietnam; and spicy pani puri from India.

“I'm honestly excited about all of the dishes we're creating for the Street Food menu, especially our African-inspired ones,” says Samuelsson. “I've know Restaurant Associates through my work in the culinary industry for years, I've always admired and respected the organization, so I was excited when the opportunity to partner together on Street Foods came about. I was inspired by my travels —some of my best memories are of eating street food in different cities. [With a program like this] you have to really know your product and have it be a personal experience for it to work. In a scenario like this, it's important to be able to relay your ideas in a clear manner for the operator to be able to create the best possible menu.”

Cattani said corporate dining was a natural fit for the concept.

“Our Premier Catering Group has always been the industry leader with breakout ideas,” Cattani said. “Our audience is an incredibly discriminating group with a very sophisticated palate and are very aware of emerging trends. Marcus has been front and center as a food innovator so bringing him and his food directly to our customers is pretty cool.”

Left to righ in photo: Mike Smith, Marcus Samuelsson, Ed Brown, Marc Scheuer
Photo credit: Philip Greenberg

 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

FSD Resources