Chef Marcus Samuelsson Visits Detroit’s Most Exciting Young Pastry Chef — No Passport Required

Chef Marcus Samuelsson Visits Detroit’s Most Exciting Young Pastry Chef — No Passport Required

– Lena is this incredible
young, talented pastry chef, that works in one of the
top restaurants in Detroit, Selden Standard. Tell me a little bit about Selden. What type of joint is it? – So, it’s a rustic style, small plates. We have very tight-knit relationships with Michigan farmers, Detroit farmers. We try to keep it in the fam. I think it’s more on the simplistic side. – Yeah. – [Lena] We try to take
like three ingredients– – Yeah.
– And make them the star. One of the Lebanese desserts
on the menu at Selden Standard right now, it is called halawet. Traditionally, it’s a
sugar base that is taken to caramel stage, 240 degrees. And while you’re whipping
tahini, you pour in the syrup, and it gets to a nougat-type texture. I also did a honey
version, and it reminded me of a Snickers bar, so, I
dipped it in chocolate, and now I call it my
Lebanese Snickers bar. – Have your parents
been to the restaurant? – Oh yeah. I actually gave them a
limit on how many times they’re allowed to go in
there, because they abuse it. (laughs)
– That’s great, I love it. So, we’re leaving downtown Detroit, and we’re heading up to Dearborn. I know that Dearborn has
a large concentration of Arab-American. Is there a different between
the Arab-American community in Detroit versus Dearborn,
do you think it’s similar? – The Arab population in
Dearborn is definitely more concentrated, but one of
the things that I love most about Detroit, is it’s
melting pot society. – Yeah. – There’s so many different people. If anything, you stand
out if you’re different, and people like, you attract
people because you’re different and they always like, hold
you high, and they love it. And, I love Detroit. – What’s the Dearborn community like? – Family, I would say. Everyone knows each other. Everywhere you go, you’re
gonna see someone you know. – Oh, cool. – I can’t go anywhere without
running into a person. – To a cuz? – Yeah, to a cousin, to a cousin’s cousin. Yeah, everyone knows each other. – So Lena, you have Lebanese background. Were you born here or Lebanon? – [Lena] I was born here, in Dearborn. – In Dearborn, so you’re
born, bred, buttered, olive oiled, in Dearborn. – Uh huh, yeah, yeah. My mom is a convert. She’s Irish, she was born in Boston. And my dad’s family is all Lebanese. We kind of all, as a family,
we’re always in the kitchen. – [Marcus] That’s awesome, that’s awesome. – [Lena] Here we are. – [Marcus] This is nice. It’s a little nice neighborhood. Can’t wait to meet your mom. – I know, right?
– Yeah. – They can’t wait to meet you. Slippery, hello? We’re here. – [Marcus] Hi Mom, how are you? (slow techno music) – I usually just do like an X motion. So you get even on all sides. – Yeah yeah.
– If you wanna get in there? – So, the most important thing. Did your grandmother approve on the dough, or what, what’s going on here? Whose recipe is this? – [Lena] My Mom made the meat mix. – [Marcus] Oh I see. – [Lena] Yeah, so it’s in the family. – So I assume there’s a lot
of cabbage in here then? (laughing) – And potatoes, you know,
all the Irish ingredients. – Yeah, yeah. We’re gonna make this dish, Lahembajin, which is almost like, I
would saw Lebanese pizza, or Lebanese pie, is this
similar to a pizza dough? – [Lena] Yes, yeah, it’s a straight dough. – [Marcus] What are we making? – You want me do it? – [Marcus] Yeah, yeah, of course. – [Lena] Show us the way you do it. – [Marcus] Do it, please. The die hard like the first
pizza is from like Egypt, like flat bread, so this
is similar to that, right? – Yeah it was made on accident. Someone just left out porridge for too long and it turned into dough. – [Marcus] So what do you have? Is this beef or lamb? – [Lena] It’s beef, tomatoes, onions. – [Marcus] Any spices in here? – [Lena] Oh yeah, there’s
sumac, salt and pepper. – It’s great, I love sumac. It has that beautiful,
it has that beautiful sort of citrus notes in the back. So what are we doing
here, what is this called? – [Lena] It’s a little stretch and pinch. (speaking in a foreign language) – [Marcus] Can I work next to you? – [Grandma] Yeah. – We can work together. Ethiopian and a Lebanon work together. We can do it. – [Grandma] Okay. – I believe in you.
(laughing) So who came first, who came from Lebanon? – [Grandpa] My brother,
they call Uncle Sam. – [Marcus] What time, is this in the 50s? – [Grandpa] ’68, yeah ’68. – The reason she crimps
it and makes the crust is because the fat renders
and it will run out into the pan, but if you do the crust this way it stays in there, and you
get all that juicy yumminess, it’s baked into the bread. And she’s insisting on
putting pine nuts in there. – [Lena] Well, these pine
nuts are from Lebanon. These are from my (mumbles) garden. My grandfathers picked them in Lebanon. – It’s in a pine cone and he sits there with the rock, just breaking ’em. So how long did it take
you to make this much, to open this much pine nuts? – Seven, eight hours. – [Marcus] Oh wow. And what’s your favorite
dish, Lebanese dish? – Lahembajin.
– Yeah? – Yeah. (laughing) – [Lena] They typically
take, like 10 to 12 minutes, but we’re going based on color, we like that nice gold,
deep, flavorful color. All right, our finished product. Cheers. (laughing)
– Thank you. – I like it.
– Mmm hmm. It’s not a complex dish, it’s like actually, I like it. It’s just an easy snack. Something maybe you eat before dinner or in between lunch and dinner. It’s just really really good. – I have one more thing that
I brought to you from Selden. Knafeh is a very traditional
Lebanese dessert. You’ll see it at every
family get together. – [Marcus] Ooh, is that
a little filo on top? – Oh yeah. You start with shredded filo dough. And then traditionally it’s made with feta and mozzarella, but I
did goat cheese instead, because goat cheese gives
it a more creamy texture, and a tangy flavor, which I love. And then I do a little quenelle of ushta. Ushta is a Lebanese style clotted cream, and it’s flavored with orange blossom and rosewater as well. – [Marcus] This has almost
like ricotta texture. – Yes, oh yeah. Some places cheat and
they just buy ricotta and flavor it with
orange blossom and rose. – [Marcus] But I don’t
think your grandmother would like even let that pass by, so we’re not doing that. – So when you get the gooey cheese, that’s what you want, right there. And that’s something
that probably a majority of the Lebanese desserts
are filled with, ushta. – Do you infuse a lot of Lebanese flavors into dishes into the pop up? – I try to, but then I try not to as well, ’cause I don’t want to be
so, ya know, predictable. (laughing) – I love them. – ‘Cause people are expecting,
oh the Lebanese girl is gonna make a Knafeh,
or you know what I mean? – [Man] I think you should marry it. – It took me a long time to start cooking with Ethiopian ingredients. – [Lena] Oh yeah? – Because, I didn’t really know how would I incorporate it, it takes
time ’cause it’s still for an American audience mostly. – Yeah, its new. – Yeah, but I don’t care. (laughing) When you make desserts like this. This is so good, this is
worth going back and forth. And more Lebanon in your dessert. – Yeah. – This is, this is everything. – [Lena] Thank you. – Grandma approve? – [Grandma] Everything okay. – Thank you, thank you very much. (laughing)

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  1. Fake Rrbs come to the Tim Hortons I manage in Toledo all the time. Halal/Haram I guess is relative to the individual.

  2. Thanks so much for watching! Stream the full episode here:

  3. Ok, the mom looked more like a sister. Very good genes there! Loved seeing the snow on the ground. Its 102º here today.

  4. I live in Detroit and yes they are some of the nicest people! Friendly and will give their last if you needed!

  5. Some of these look delicious. I've only did a few desserts but this chef makes me want to start baking more.

  6. She pretty much made sfiha instead of lahme bi ajeen. It looks great. I would like to know the meat mixture.Kunafe is not originally made with feta and mozzarella, no traditional regional variants use those. mozzarella is a very recent modification. If you haven’t tried Kunafe you should.

  7. These guys need to be stopped this food they're making looks absolutely amazing! I need to go to Detroit then to Lebanon for more Lebanese soul food! 🇱🇧🇱🇧🇱🇧👍🏿👍🏿👍🏿

  8. My grandma is of Syrian origin and she makes something close to Lakhmajin, only she calls it Esfikha, are those the same thing?

  9. I’m sure her being a Muslim in a hijab had nothing to do with being the most “exciting” chef in Detroit.

  10. Middle Eastern women are protesting to remove their hijabs, while regressive “liberals” leftists in the West are pretty much promoting the hijab back to their middle eastern immigrants.

  11. Ugh. I see a lot of absolute idiots politicizing this video. Again, absolute idiots. THIS IS ABOUT FOOD.

  12. After watching this video, I went to Seldon Standard (I'm in town on business) and that was a dang delicious meal.

  13. Even tho I am Cuban,my education of Lebanon comes from Nancy Ajram,weird but true,forgive me if I am so ignorant please.

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