Groundbreaking culinary legacy and passion for food flavors, and fun with a menu that features locally and sustainably caught seafood, fresh produce and premium dry-aged cuts and innovative craft cocktails – served in a vibrant setting inspired by Bahamian culture – is Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House.
Set against the backdrop of spectacular Bahamian sunsets, Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House features an innovative menu, including signature dishes exploding with flavor from six-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the helm.
The 400-seat dining facility which debuted on July 12, is a celebration of Samuelsson’s passion for exploring flavors – from finding the freshest Bahamian ingredients and local seafood to sharing his latest take on comfort food classics.
A fan of conch, Samuelsson’s menu features the delectable seafood fried in a fritter, or served raw as a bright salad with native sour orange and local herbs. Guests can also enjoy Samuelsson’s cornbread for the table, served with hot buttered Bahamian rum – a personal favorite of the chef.
While developing the restaurant’s concept, Samuelsson dedicated time to learning about Bahamian culture and meeting with local purveyors and artisans to explore native ingredients. Through his Bahamian immersion and deriving inspiration from his Ethiopian and Swedish heritage, along with influences from another restaurant in his empire Red Rooster – and its hit dish, the whole fried chicken, Samuelsson has crafted an exquisite menu reflective of the Caribbean. Signature dishes to be introduced at Baha Mar include Blue Crab, Uni and Lobster Spaghetti Piccadilly with Garlic, Calabrian Chili and Thai Basil; Fried Yard Bird with Sour Orange Hot Honey and Baked Beans; Shrimp and Grits with Bacon, Creole Worcestershire XO, and Zucchini.
“Marcus [at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House] is a restaurant for many people – for Bahamian people, and for people coming on vacation. The feel of being special is the same for everybody. Warmth is the same for everybody, and delicious is delicious.”
The experience to be had is what matters to the chef – that people feel the vibrancy, have fun, indulge in delicious, and that patrons feel the warmth and welcome.
“You come here for a work event, a birthday celebration, by yourself, staying at the hotel and are in the bar, you get a vibe of the island. We’re here to present local hospitality,” said Samuelsson.
“The incredible career and talent of Chef Marcus Samuelsson is an inspiration to the entire Baha Mar family and we are delighted to introduce Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House to our guests and local community of The Bahamas,” said Graeme Davis, Baha Mar president. “Chef Marcus’ elevated culinary take on Bahamian cuisine will introduce a distinctive dining experience with delicious, inventive food in an incredible setting.”
The restaurant features an open grill kitchen, seafood display station, lavish cocktail lounge, wine bar and private dining rooms, and joins Baha Mar’s celebrated collection of over 40 restaurants and lounges, including Samuelsson’s oceanside food truck, Streetbird on the Beach, a more casual compilation of Samuelsson classics with island-inspired elements.
“Baha Mar has built an incredible culinary program of world-class restaurants, which I am proud to join,” said Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef behind restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem and Ginny’s Supper Club in New York City, Red Rooster in Miami’s Overtown, and Norda in Sweden.
“I remember when Baha Mar opened – I spoke at the opening and that’s when we started to work. Streetbird was just a ‘great handshake’ to get to know each other, but at the same time we were always working on this,” he said of Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House.
And we were talking about how we could create experiences for the guests, locals, people staying at other hotels, but also the Baha Mar experience. And then for me as a culinarian … as a chef, how can I create jobs for the next generation of Bahamian chefs.”
Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House was built during the height of the pandemic. Samuelsson said it was inspirational to see it come together as it is the beauty of hospitality.
“I come from a simple beginning back in Africa, so when you come from that environment you also think about luck, privileges, and work ethic, and how many people worked to make it possible for me. So, when I get up in the morning, I think about how many people I represent and make it possible for. You create it by talking about it, and then manifesting it,” he said.
Chef de Cuisine Garrette Bowe is a prime example of one of the young, talented Bahamians at Samuelsson’s restaurant.
“Besides being here and providing a great experience for the guests, we have a big mission of creating jobs for people that want to be in the hospitality industry, and to see someone like Chef Garrette do it shows me that we are on the right track.”
He described his chef de cuisine as an “amazing” talent.
“With the right guidance, I have all the faith. She’s already successful. She has all the tools, hard work ethic, good communicator – that balance, and at the same time she’s ambitious, so when someone has all those things, they deserve everything. When I got into the profession, I had mentors – somebody that saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself. Without mentors, where would I be?”
Bowe, who returned to work in March and found she was moving to Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chip House, said she was excited.
“I’m working with one of the best, so it’s exciting. You can’t ask for more.”
The opportunity allows her to work with different ingredients and flavor profiles, but that at the same time are still approachable.
Samuelsson has introduced her to berbere, a mildly hot Ethiopian traditional spice blend that she says she plays with.
Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chip House is located on the waterfront, a location which Samuelsson says makes him feel blessed.
Inspired by the colorful and warm culture and traditions of The Bahamas, the restaurant’s interior design features a selection of artwork curated by The Current Gallery and Art Center. John Cox, The Current’s creative art director was commissioned to paint a mural overlooking the main dining room, while all menus feature artwork by prominent Bahamian artists.
Marcus Up Top – a rooftop bar driven space with cocktails and light food – has got next. It will feature entertainment from local deejays and musicians performing nightly.
“So, it’s all about creating experiences that matches the beautiful location. We were lucky we have an incredible team that worked hard through difficult times, with a vision and architect firm. It was very important for us to respect the island and build something that adds value to the island. No one needs another restaurant, but you need something that everyone can be proud of – color tonality, interior. For me it’s about reflecting,” said Samuelsson.