On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will host “James Beard Culinary Mix,” a Friends of James Beard Benefit dinner starting at 7:30 p.m. A five-course dinner will be prepared by multiple James Beard Award winner Marcus Samuelsson, chef/owner of Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird Rotisserie and Kuro Executive Chef Alex Q. Becker. The evening will be emceed by guest of honor, multiple James Beard Award winner, famed television personality, cookbook author and host of the Food Network’s “Chopped,” Ted Allen. This exciting event will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s new National Scholars program as well as other initiatives of the Foundation.
A pre-dinner VIP ticket will grant 60 attendees access to a meet and greet cocktail reception with Ted Allen and Marcus Samuelsson at the hotel’s chic L Bar, and book signing of “The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem” by Samuelsson. Following the exclusive dinner, a Q&A with the chefs, moderated by Allen will conclude the experience.
Guest of Honor
Ted Allen - Emmy Award Winning Host of Chopped and Chopped Junior
Emmy and James Beard Award winner Ted Allen is the host of “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior,” Food Network’s hit primetime culinary competition shows, and the author of two cookbooks, “In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks,” and “The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes," both published by Clarkson-Potter. Previously, he was the food and wine specialist on the groundbreaking Bravo series “Queer Eye,” and a series-regular judge on both Food Network's “Iron Chef America” and Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He was a contributing writer to Esquire magazine from 1996 to 2012, where he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and, before that, a senior editor of Chicago magazine for four years. He holds an M.A. in journalism from New York University, and a psychology B.A. from Purdue University. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, Barry Rice.
Marcus Samuelsson - Award-Winning Chef, Restaurateur, Author and TV Personality
Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, NYC; Ginny’s Supper Club, NYC; and Streetbird Rotisserie, NYC. A committed philanthropist; the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times; and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. Samuelsson has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Rising Star Chef; Best Chef: New York City; two book awards, and in May 2016 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows “Top Chef Masters” and “Chopped All Stars”, and served as a mentor on ABC’s “The Taste”. Samuelsson co-produced Harlem EatUp!, a food and culture festival launched in Harlem, New York in 2015, and he is also the founder of the website Food Republic. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version, Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his newest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, released in October 2016. He has recently announced the opening of a new restaurant at MGM National Harbor outside of Washington, D.C. in December 2016 and the opening of Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London.
Alex Becker - Executive Chef and Creative Culinary Director at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Executive Chef Alex Becker brings to Kuro more than two decades of restaurant experience, including work at celebrated worldwide Japanese restaurants Katsuya and Nobu. At Kuro, Becker plans to source the best quality product available for the restaurant's new-style Japanese creations -- dishes grounded in tradition yet progressive in concept and execution.
Becker believes in building relationships with true artisans and craft purveyors to source the best quality product possible. To that end, the menu at Kuro will include stunning dishes featuring both just-picked produce from Florida farms as well as exotic fish transported from the waters of Japan to diners' plates in the blink of an eye. Becker, who also serves as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Creative Culinary Director, started his career at age 15 in Atlanta. His prodigious culinary education includes a Masters in Italian Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Asti, Italy. Becker has also been accepted into the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. The chef started the globetrotting chapter of his career at Ristorante Gardenia in Turin, Italy, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Becker then turned his hunger for culinary intellect to Japanese cuisine. This led to a seven-year career at Nobu. Later, as Corporate Executive Chef of Katsuya in Los Angeles, he opened multiple restaurants for the brand across the globe.
About the James Beard Foundation
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.