CHICAGO – BEN’S ORIGINAL™ and award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson have teamed up to launch the brand’s “My Original Recipe” chef stories debuting September 10, 2021. Complementing the brand’s just-launched global marketing campaign – “Everyone’s Original” – these personal narratives highlight paths to possibility through food and bring to life the brand’s ambition to create a more inclusive and equitable future. The series is available on the BEN’S ORIGINAL USA YouTube channel and across social and media platforms.
Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, MARCUS Montreal, Marcus B&P, Red Rooster Overtown and Marcus Fish + Chop House in the Bahamas. He has won multiple James Beard Foundation awards for his work as a chef and host of No Passport Required, his public television series with Vox/Eater. Samuelsson was crowned champion of Top Chef Masters and Chopped All-Stars and was the guest chef for President Obama’s first state dinner. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson is co-chair of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which focuses on underserved youth. Author of several cookbooks, in addition to The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, Samuelsson also co-produces the annual Harlem EatUp! Festival, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Samuelsson converted his restaurants Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus B&P in Newark, and Red Rooster Overtown in Miami into community kitchens in partnership with World Central Kitchen, serving over 230,000 meals to those in need. His podcast titled This Moment with Swedish rapper Timbuktu is available on ACAST. His newest cookbook The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food is out now.
In his “My Original Recipe”, Samuelsson discusses the challenges he faced early in his career, the inspiration and support he received from family and the value of championing the next generation of Black chefs. Along with his interview, Samuelsson prepares his recipe for Crab Fried Rice featuring BEN’S ORIGINAL™ READY RICE™ Jasmine, which can be found here on BensOriginal.com
“The Black experience around food and American food is one. You can’t talk about American food without the Black experience. There are cultures in America where a meal is not complete without rice at the table,” said Samuelsson. “My goal in partnering with BEN’S ORIGINAL is to authentically tell my story in the hopes of empowering others to pursue their dreams.”
This fall will continue the “My Original Recipe” series with Chef Nick Wallace. The Mississippi chef will also support the brand’s community efforts in Greenville, Mississippi where BEN’S ORIGINAL rice has been produced for more than 43 years. Wallace recently opened Nissan Café by Nick Wallace at Two Museums Mississippi, and he has been recognized as the best chef in Jackson (his hometown) for the past four years and as the best chef of Mississippi in 2020.
“No family, individual or meal is the same. Everyone has their own unique story to tell and recipe to share,” said Ashley Findlay, Marketing Director, BEN’S ORIGINAL. “BEN’S ORIGINAL is proud to share chefs Marcus Samuelsson’s and Nick Wallace’s stories of achievement, how they discovered their passion, the importance of a diverse food culture and industry and their strong connection to the purpose work of our brand.”
The content series is the latest effort from UniWorld Group (UWG), the longest-standing multicultural advertising and marketing agency in the United States.
BEN’S ORIGINAL brand has committed a total of $4.5 million over the next five years in support of inclusion and equity and to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table. This spring, in partnership with National Urban League and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), BEN’S ORIGINAL brand launched its SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund Scholarship for Black students who want to pursue food industry careers; this year’s recipients will be announced this fall. In Greenville, the company recently announced a new partnership with MolinaCares and Kroger Delta Division to bolster its $2.5 million investment focused on improving food access and education throughout the Mississippi Delta.
In July 2021, Mars Food announced a $3.1 million product donation to long-standing national partners including Feeding America® and CARE, as well as a variety of local partners in communities where Mars operates, including in Greenville, Miss. (Hearty Helpings Food Pantry), Chicago (Greater Chicago Food Depository) and Newark (Community FoodBank of New Jersey), to name a few.
The recently announced BEN’S ORIGINAL global marketing campaign – “Everyone’s Original” – is linked with the brand’s ongoing commitment to enhance inclusion and equity in service of its purpose to offer everyone a seat at the table.
The first commercials from the new campaign, called “We’re all original recipes™,” are designed to showcase the ‘ingredients’ that make us who we truly are. The commercials feature a collection of six real families who gather round the table for their favorite meals and show the unique recipes, traditions and interactions that make each family original. The families include a Black nuclear family, a pair of friends, three roommates, a single-parent family, a family who uses sign-language and a multi-generational Pakistani family.