Geoffrey Zakarian has devoted all of his life to food. A legendary icon of the culinary world, Geoffrey has hands in three international restaurants, more than a couple of books, and on the business side of things as well. Even though Geoffrey was already a celebrity long before joining reality TV, his fame gained a whole new level when he started working as a judge. Geoffrey is also a philanthropist who doubles down as the Chairman of the City Harvest Food Council. A notable charitarian, he is committed to fighting hunger in the city of New York.
|Full name||Geoffrey Zakarian|
|Date of birth||July 25, 1959|
|Place of birth||Worcester, Massachusetts, US|
|Ethnicity||Armenian-American and Polish-American|
|Spouse||Margaret Anne Williams (m. 2005-present)|
|Children||Three: Madeline, Anna and George|
|Parents||George H. Zakarian, Viola Virginia Hekowicz|
|Siblings||Cynthia Virginia (sister) and George (brother)|
|Education||Worcester State University and Culinary Institute of America|
|Occupation||Chef, restaurateur, television personality and author|
|Net Worth||Over $6 million|
|Current restaurants||The Lambs Club and The National in New York City; Point Royal and Counter Point at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL|
|Television shows||Chopped, Chopped Junior, Cooks vs. Cons, The Kitchen, Kitchen Sink, Top 5 Restaurants, Iron Chef America, Chopped After Hours, The Next Iron Chef|
|Culinary style||Modern American with roots in French cuisine|
|Mentor chef||Daniel Boulud|
|First executive chef position||44 at the Royalton Hotel in New York City (1990-1998)|
|First restaurant ownership||Town in New York City (2001-2009)|
|Other restaurant ventures||Country in New York City ; Blue Door at the Delano Hotel in Miami ; Patroon in New York City ; Tudor House in Miami Beach (2011-2012); The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City ; The Palm Court, The Plaza Food Hall and The Rose Club at The Plaza Hotel in New York City (2014-2019)|
|Books authored||Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table (2006); My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients (2014); The Family That Cooks Together: 85 Zakarian Family Recipes from Our Table to Yours (2020)|
|Recognition||Iron Chef, Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Wine Lists” for The Lambs Club, James Beard, Award for “Chopped”, “Sifty 50” for The National, Awarded Michelin Star for Country
, 3 Star Rating by NY Times for Patroon, Town and Country
Geoffrey Zakarian was born on the 25th of July 1959 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Worcester, Geoffrey spent much of his childhood with his two siblings, George H. Zakarian Jr., and Cynthia V. Zakarian. His dad, George H. Zakarian, was a retired WWII veteran who was also into music. On the other hand, his mother, Viola Virginia Hekowicz, stayed home to take care of the kids.
After finishing his senior year at the Burncoat High School in 1997, Geoffrey enrolled at Worcester State University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and moved to France. After a short while, Geoffrey came back home to study at the Culinary Institute of America. He obtained his associate degree in 1982.
Geoffrey began his career as a pastry sous chef at Le Cirque. He continued to develop his technical skills under the careful tutelage of Alain Sailhac. After a five year stay at Le Cirque, Geoffrey started working as an executive chef at the 21 Club. A year later in 1988, Geoffrey was invited to be an Executive Chef of 44 at the Royalton Hotel.
Geoffrey’s first involvement in the world of business came in 1995. He established the Blue Door at The Delano Hotel, Miami. One of South Beach’s first boutique hotels, the Blue Door became a symbol of South Beach’s late 90’s revitalization. Geoffrey continued his good work and in 1997 he helped Patroon to get three stars status.
In 2001, Geoffrey opened his first restaurant, TOWN, which was awarded a three-star status. The trend continued and in 2005, Geoffrey opened another restaurant by the name of, Country. Like TOWN, Country received the three-star status from the NY Times. Not the one to be satisfied, Geoffrey opened The National at The Benjamin Hotel in New York in 2010. In 2011, he inaugurated the Tudor House in Miami which was handed 3.5 stars by the Miami Herald.
In 2011, Geoffrey competed and won the 4th season of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs. Basking in the glory, Geoffrey launched Ocean Blue, The Raw Bar and Ocean Blue on the Waterfront on Norwegian Breakaway in 2013.
2014 was the best year in Geoffrey’s career. He took up the post of Chairman at the food rescue organization City Harvest. He also relaunched the iconic Palm Court in The Plaza Hotel in a partnership with architect Thierry Despont. He was also asked to co-host the reality show, The Kitchen.
In 2016, Geoffrey debuted his kitchen line, Pro For Home. The following year he opened two new concepts entitled Point Royal and Counter Point, within The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood. Geoffrey is also an author and published a book entitled Town/Country. Debuted in 2006, the book received critical acclaim and was awarded Editor’s choice by the NY Times.
Geoffrey‘s career has not been without controversies and rumors. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- He faced a class-action lawsuit from 152 former employees of his restaurant Country, which closed in 2008. The plaintiffs accused him of violating labor laws, such as not paying overtime wages, manipulating pay records, and deducting meal costs from their paychecks. His former business partners also sided with the employees and claimed that he misappropriated restaurant funds. Geoffrey filed for personal bankruptcy in response to the lawsuit and later settled it by paying $200,000.
- In 2015, Geoffrey was one of the chefs who backed out of opening a restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants. He said that he could not associate himself with Trump’s views, which he found “inflammatory and insulting” to many of his employees. Trump sued Zakarian for breach of contract and sought millions of dollar in damages. The case was settled in 2017, with both parties agreeing to dismiss their claims.
Geoffrey Zakarian has been married two times. He first tied the knot with Heather Karaman and the pair called it quits after ten years of togetherness. He married for the second time in 2005 to Margaret Anne Williams in a small ceremony at Our Lady of Lebanon Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls, New York. The pair have three children, Madeline Zakarian born in 2007, Anna born in 2009, and George Harris Zakarian born in 2014. The family currently lives in Manhattan.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has amassed a considerable fortune from his multiple endeavors. He has an estimated net worth of over $6 million as of 2023. His main sources of income are his restaurants, which include The Lambs Club, The National, The Water Club, Point Royal, and Counter Point, his television appearances on shows such as Iron Chef America, Chopped, The Kitchen, and The Next Iron Chef, and the sales of his cookbooks, which include Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country, My Perfect Pantry, and The Family That Cooks Together. He also hosts a radio show called Food Talk on Sirius XM. However, his net worth has also been affected by some legal troubles in the past, such as a lawsuit from his former employees over unpaid wages and a dispute with the Trump Organization over a restaurant deal.
|Height||About 5 feet 7 inches or 170 cm|
|Hair color||Salt and pepper|
|Facial hair||Neatly trimmed beard and a thin mustache|
|Smile||Warm and friendly smile|
|Dress style||He has a stylish and elegant dress style, which suits his profession and status. He often wears suits, ties, shirts, jackets, vests, and aprons in various colors and patterns.|
|Accessories||He likes to accessorize his outfits with watches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, and pins, which add some flair and personality to his look.|
|Scars||He does not have any noticeable scars, which may imply that he has not had any major injuries or accidents in his life or career.|
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