When it comes to the seamless marriage of bold personal style and top-shelf expertise, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian occupies a unique place in the culinary world. For more than 30 years, Zakarian’s uncompromising attention to detail, from the kitchen to the dining room, has reshaped how Americans from coast-to-coast entertain, eat, and feel when they sit together around a table.
His rise to culinary prominence began at Le Cirque, where he worked his way up from Pastry Cook to second-in-command under Chef Alain Sailhac, learning the art of hospitality and entertaining, and then throughout a series of apprenticeships at some of the most iconic and celebrated restaurants across Western Europe. From these foundational experiences, the idea that a restaurant should feel like an extension of your home and each guest like a friend coming to visit became crystal clear to Zakarian and proved to be the basis of his work going forward.
In 1987, Zakarian took his first turn as Executive Chef, at the legendary 21 Club. The following year he became the Executive Chef of 44 at the Royalton Hotel, creating one of the buzziest, most exciting dining rooms in modern New York history. Zakarian became Executive Chef of Patroon in 1997, receiving his first, coveted Three-Star review from the New York Times.
Four years later, Zakarian opened his first restaurant, Town, marking the first complete expression of his culinary and decorative vision. Instantly becoming one of Manhattan’s most sought-after reservations, Town earned Zakarian his second New York Times Three-Star review. Zakarian went on to open Country, a restaurant that paired his passion for food and wine with his innate sense of hospitality, grace, and old-world elegance. Country not only garnered Zakarian a third Three-Star review from the New York Times but was also awarded a Michelin Star.
Over the years, Zakarian expanded his fine-dining reach outside of New York to include South Florida, Atlantic City, Sonoma, Beverly Hills, the Atlantic Ocean with Norwegian Cruise Lines, Dubai World Expo and opening soon, Doha, Qatar. He also continued to build on his well-established reputation in New York City, by reimagining Midtown power-dining with The Lambs Club in The Chatwal Hotel attracting presidents, Hollywood actors, New York media executives and the luminaries they covered. He then brought his vision for a casual but grand American cafe to the east side of Manhattan with The National in The Benjamin Hotel. Both restaurants have been part of the fabric of New York City dining for over a decade.
Outside the restaurant world, Zakarian is focused on bringing his unique vision directly into the homes and entertaining of food-enthusiasts everywhere. He is a Food Network television star (The Kitchen, Chopped, Iron Chef America), executive producer at his production company, Corner Table Entertainment (Feasting With The Stars, Turning Tables documentary, Four Courses podcast and a new primetime show on Food Network premiering in 2022), and acclaimed author (Town/Country, 2006; My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients, 2014; Cast Iron Cooking: The Dutch Oven, 2019; and #1 national best-seller, The Family That Cooks Together, 2020).
Zakarian has combined his love for hospitality and technical chef expertise to create his own line of gourmet foods and innovative cookware developed to elevate the experience of home cooks everywhere. As he looks ahead, he is thrilled to be the Chief Culinary Ambassador for Harry & David, a brand that he has long loved, curating gourmet, chef-approved selections for entertaining and gifting. And his own products are soon to follow in the Harry & David offerings.
As his portfolio of projects continues to grow, everything that bears Zakarian’s name reflects his unwavering commitment to authenticity, design, quality, and his mission to inspire, teach, and share the art of living well.