After a celebrated run as executive chef at Aquavit Restaurant, the Ethiopia-born Marcus Samuelsson performed gustatory magic in Harlem: In a neighborhood that didn’t have a chain grocery store until 1999, he’s built a spot both critically heralded and reflective of the area’s many cultures. "I bike and I walk every corner of Harlem, and see so much diversity that’s unexpected," he says. Then he builds a menu around those encounters.
Illustrations by Peter Oumanski.
A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.