Secret Recipe: Red Rooster’s Cornbread

Red Rooster cornbread by super chef Marcus Samuelsson

New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the brains behind the Gansevoort hotels (Canadians will know the name from the company’s properties in New York City and Turks and Caicos), has opened The Curtain, a hotel/private members club, dining and live music venue in Shoreditch, in London’s east end – his first hotel in Europe.

Achenbaum has enlisted some serious global-goes-Big-Apple culinary cool with Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised super chef Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem’s famed Red Rooster, with his first London outpost. “To me, Shoreditch has a mystique to it,” Samuelsson tells me, while I’m taking a bite of his famous cornbread. “…and I like that you get to see British high and low here. The food scene is booming, the music scene is great and artists are everywhere. It reminds me of Harlem – that, and how it’s constantly changing.”

Luckily for us, Samuelsson hasn’t kept the recipe to his worth travelling to New York – or London – cornbread a mystery.



  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried aleppo flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Honey butter, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo flakes, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk, and olive oil.
  4. Combine the two mixtures and stir until a smooth consistency.
  5. Pour the batter into 9 by 5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Bake in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with honey butter.



YIELD ½ cup



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



  • Put the butter in a medium bowl, whisk in the honey, and then stir in the salt.



YIELD 3 cup



  • ¼ cup currants
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup shallots, very thin slice
  • ¼ cup garlic, very thin slice
  • ¼ cup ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon kasoori methi
  • 1 tablespoon curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste



  1. In a small bowl pour cider vinegar over currants and allow to soak.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat and saute shallots, garlic and ginger for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook for approximately one minute.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, and currants. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and add brown sugar. Simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Add herbs and cook until tomatoes are tender, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.