Red Rooster's Marcus Samuelsson on Launching an Online Men's Mag

Photo courtesy Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson has a narrative.

Marcus Samuelsson is a busy man. Not only is he helming the kitchen at the popular new Red Rooster, he's also just launched Food Republic, an online cooking and lifestyle publication geared toward the male sex. So we called up this Renaissance man and the site's editorial director, Richard Martin, to learn more.

Tell me about the impetus for Food Republic.

Richard Martin: I came into the project recently because these guys had developed something interesting: a food website that talked about lifestyle but where food was really at the center of it, and mostly from a male perspective. Most food magazines and websites come from a woman's point of view, or a neutral one. Guys are becoming more interested in cooking and food politics and there wasn't something exclusive for them.

Marcus Samuelsson: I felt very strongly about that. There's information that's not just the latest menu item or what chefs are cooking. How do guys interact with food? I remember my father cooked maybe once a month and on a Friday night he's like, "Let's cook." Now that guys are in the kitchen, we look at the kitchen differently. There's a different conversation.

And why now?

Marcus Samuelsson: I've worked with food all my life and I see everything through food. If I read an article about a band, I want to know what they're eating after the show. I think of everything as a cook. I wasn't finding a lot about the intersection of food and politics. Food and politics will be the biggest conversation out there that we are now beginning to have.

So what exactly will your involvement be?

Marcus Samuelsson: We're going to use a lot of outsiders. We have a narrative and a point of view, and I'm sharing my experiences with my editorial team. But it wouldn't work without other contributors.

Richard Martin: Marcus is listed as a co-founder but he's also an inspiration. Whenever I'm starting a new media product, I'm looking for ideal readers, and he's one of them. If you take Marcus and put him on a train to D.C., he may get off and go to an Ethiopian restaurant or get his hair cut at a cool barbershop or go shopping for sneakers in Dupont Circle.

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