American chef Marcus Samuelsson is moving to Montreal, as La Presse reports that he will be at the helm of the restaurant for the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel.
Samuelsson has made his mark on New York’s dining scene at a few disparate, but well-received restaurants. As executive chef, he turned fine dining destination Aquavit into a destination (it has since earned two Michelin stars). He later opened Japanese-American restaurant Riingo (now closed), and has since made a splash with Harlem soul food restaurant Red Rooster. (The location of this restaurant is perhaps why La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie strangely and somewhat inaccurately gets into racial tropes calling him “Le Scandinave du ghetto” — Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden with an adoptive family).
He also hosted and produced PBS television series No Passport Required, in conjunction with Eater, exploring diverse cuisines across the U.S.
In Montreal, his restaurant will be self-titled — named Marcus, it will be at de la Montagne and de Maisonneuve, inside the Four Seasons, a 168-room hotel set to open in 2019.
It’s not strictly Samuelsson’s restaurant — the hotel is being guided by developer Andrew Lutfy, whose group Carbonleo is known for its involvement in mega-mall projects Dix30 and the upcoming Royalmount mall.
Marcus will be a big operation — around 100 seats each in the dining room and terrasse, with 130 in the bar, all designed by Zebulon Perron (see also: Un Po di’ Più, Iberica). It, along with the hotel lobby, will be located on the building’s third floor, above department store Holt Renfrew.
On the food side, Samuelsson will lean into vegetables and fish, with a local focus — it seems Samuelsson is already in town to start working on it and getting a sense for local produce. It’s being billed as a brasserie, and somethign that will “reflect [Samuelsson’s] culinary background”, according to information from the hotel, with particular emphasis on Ethiopia, New York, and Scandinavia.
Samuelsson is the most notable international import to Montreal in a long time — while Daniel Boulud and Joël Robuchon both opened restaurants in the city, Robuchon opted for local talent for his controversial, publicly-funded venture at Montreal’s Casino (and prior to his death, rarely visited the restaurant), while Boulud’s restaurant is headed up by an excellent but lower-profile Italian chef, Riccardo Bertolino.
Expect Marcus to open when the Four Seasons Hotel is ready — sometime in spring 2019.
Note: Marcus Samuelsson is hosting a show created by Eater, and PBS. This does not impact coverage on Eater Montreal.
- De Harlem au Golden Square Mile [La Presse]
- Four Seasons hotel will open in Montreal next to Ogilvy in 2018 [Montreal Gazette]