Chef Marcus Samuelsson Dishes on Honeyland, Houston’s New Black Foods and Audio Competition

Marcus Samuelsson is no stranger to Houston. The Ethiopian-Swedish chef has visited Houston in decades previous, exploring the West African food stuff scene in an episode of PBS’ No Passport Expected. Now, he is returning to the Houston place this November, bringing Honeyland — what could be 1 of the biggest meals, music, and spirits festivals in the U.S. to investigate and rejoice African American society and creative imagination. In a the latest job interview, Eater Houston requested Samuelsson to dish on the pageant food lineup, and why Houston, of all locations — while unquestionably deserving — is the fantastic destination for such an event.

We have listened to so significantly about Honeyland. To start with, we’ve acquired to talk to: why Houston?

Marcus Samuelsson: Houston is an extraordinary foodstuff town. It’s just one of the most numerous in The usa, with the most dining establishments. We wanted to have this festival where we knew hospitality was genuinely fantastic and varied and celebrate the most effective expression of Black tradition.

And why the title Honeyland?

Properly, I think some of it has to do with Sugar Land and just the reality that it’s a wonderful, catchy title. It is exciting, and I imagine it is a name that claims this pageant, which will be in Houston, will be sticky, very hot, and delightful.

Wait, does this suggest Honeyland is listed here in the Houston region to keep? Or will it rotate close to other U.S. metropolitan areas?

Enable us get as a result of the very first just one [laughs]. We’re really proud of this collaboration — to be bringing the most effective of amusement and the finest of food, and ideally, we can do it all all over again. But 1st, our objective is to toss a great music festival in November.

It’s been your task to program and curate the meals and culinary programming for Honeyland. What has been your standards for picking culinary talent?

The group I’m functioning with has been astounding. There have been hundreds of individuals who have collaborated to provide something exclusive, and we sense that foods and leisure have been working alongside one another without end. Musicians have normally occur to our places to eat and supported chefs, and cooks, we’ve been a part of the songs community, as well. We go out typically to see entertainment and performances.

What we also located is that a large amount of entertainers are also in the food or wine space. Singer Mary J. Blige has her individual wine. Podcast host Angela Yee has her have espresso shop. We believed that was an appealing area and questioned how can we mix that. We also understood we wanted nearby chefs and cooks from Texas like Houston’s Chris Williams on board so the festival could actually showcase the greatest of Black expression. We also have Bun B and Tabitha Brown. We just needed to merge songs with good foods in the good condition of Texas.

On the lookout at the lineup, there is an remarkable selection of talent scheduled. What can Houstonians and festivalgoers be expecting? And how would you say this is different than other meals or new music festivals?

It will be a excellent time, a terrific weekend whole of delectable food items, and having fun likely to stage-to-phase to see performances, but it’s also a place to find out — to find out a new mixologist or for business owners or individuals beginning that food items truck to discover. “How did Bun B commence [Trill Burgers]?” for instance. It is a place to uncover and study what other people’s journeys into the meals world were being like. You may possibly see anything new that may inspire you. It’s also an prospect and one particular of those quite special moments to acquire with good friends and to do it in a position like Houston, the place there is fantastic diversity and a record of wonderful places to eat. I assume a lot of festivals are excellent at food and a large amount are terrific at tunes, but to do it with a emphasis on African American tradition, that is genuinely one of a kind.

What are you most excited about?

I’m quite, quite energized about Scarface and Mary J. Blige when it comes to music. Z-Ro’s heading to be there! On the culinary facet, we seriously set a large amount of time to dig into the roots in Texas, so which is remarkable for us. I’m energized to hold out with some of my chef mates — I have a whole lot of pals coming with me. I’m excited to cook dinner with Tiffany Derry.

What happens so generally when we do these functions, some of the most exciting points come about in the inexperienced area or driving the scenes when chefs get to reconnect and stimulate each individual other that we can do this. In African American tradition, food and hospitality have often been joined. Now, we can do it up out in the open with this pageant. We however have a extensive way to go, but Honeyland is also a celebration of how much we have appear.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.