- 1 Who is Geoffrey Zakarian?
- 2 How rich is he, as of now?
- 3 Early Life, Parents, Siblings
- 4 Educational Background
- 5 Career Beginnings
- 6 Rise to Fame as Chef
- 7 Restaurants Owner
- 8 Cookbooks
- 9 Career on Television
- 10 Controversies and Legal Issues
- 11 Appearance and Vital Statistics
- 12 Personal life: Ex-Wife, Wife Margaret Anne Williams
- 13 Their Children and Residence
Who is Geoffrey Zakarian?
Geoffrey Zakarian was born under the sign of Leo on 25 July 1959, in Worcester, Massachusetts USA, of American, Armenian and Polish ethnicity, and American nationality – he’s now aged 60. He is a chef and reality TV personality, known from being in the cast of such reality TV cook shows as “Chopped”, “The Next Iron Chef”, and “Iron Chef America”, all broadcast on the Food Network. Geoffrey is also a well-known author of two cookbooks.
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How rich is he, as of now?
Geoffrey Zakarian’s net worth is over $6 million. His successful career as a chef is the main source of this amount of money, but he’s also gained wealth from appearances in various cook shows and from the sales of his cookbooks.
Early Life, Parents, Siblings
The famous chef was raised in his hometown of Worcester alongside two siblings, by his father, George H. Zakarian, who was a WWII veteran, a musician and member of the 181st Infantry band, and his wife, Viola Virginia Hekowicz. He is the brother of George H. Zakarian Jr. and Cynthia V. Zakarian.
Geoffrey attended Burncoat High School, and upon matriculation in 1977 enrolled into Worcester State University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Thereafter, he moved to France, then having made the decision to become a chef, returned to study at the Culinary Institute of America, located in Hyde Park, New York, from where he obtained his associate degree in 1982.
Geoffrey started his culinary career in 1983, when he began working as a pastry sous chef for “Le Cirque” under French master chef Alain Sailhac. He spent five years there, during which time he was promoted to executive chef. In 1987, he started working as the executive chef at “21Club”, and then at the Royalton Hotel’s restaurant “44” in Manhattan, New York City in 1988 – his job was also to help the restaurant gain three stars by The New York Times.
Rise to Fame as Chef
In 1995, Geoffrey was engaged to supervise Old Navy’s ruined coffee cart division and coffee bar, alongside David Brody, which was followed in the same year by his employment at the Delano Hotel’s “Blue Door”, located in Miami. Two years later, he was appointed as the executive chef for “Patroon”, in Manhattan; under his tenure, it received three stars by The New York Times columnist Ruth Reichl. Then he worked next to reputed chef Alain Passard at the famous French restaurant “Arpège”, located in Paris, which was awarded with three stars by The Michelin Guide. So, his name became one of the best recognized names in the restaurant business.
Since 2007, he has been working as an adviser at “The Water Club” at Borgata in Atlantic City, and since 2010 serving as the executive chef at “The Lamb’s Club” located at The Chatwal Hotel in New York.
Geoffrey opened his first restaurant, “Town”, in the Chambers Hotel in Manhattan in 2001; although it was a three-star restaurant, it closed eight years later. Besides that, he also opened the Carlton Hotel’s restaurant called “Country”, also in Manhattan, in 2005. Thanks to his hard work, it received not only three stars from The New York Times but also from the Michelin Guide.
Moreover, Geoffrey also opened “The National” at The Benjamin Hotel in New York City in 2010, and then moved to Florida to open “Tudor House” at Dream South Beach. Three years later, he collaborated with Norwegian Cruise Lines on their restaurants, and most recently opened “Counter Point” and “Point Royal”, both at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
Geoffrey co-published alongside David Gibbons his first cookbook – “Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/country: 150 Recipes For Life Around The Table” – in 2006. The New York Times critic Amanda Hesser named it as one of the best books of the year, while it was also named Editor’s Choice by The New York Times Book Review.
His second cookbook, entitled “My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients”, was released in 2014.
Career on Television
After being offered to join the cast of the Food Network’s television cooking game show “Chopped”, Geoffrey has appeared as a judge alongside such restaurateurs as Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan, since it premiered in January of 2009. In the following year, he became a competitor in the cooking show “Iron Chef America: The Series”, in which he lost to renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto. However, he became the winner of “The Next Iron Chef” after defeating famous chef Elizabeth Falkner in December of 2011.
In 2014, Geoffrey became quite busy since he was chosen to co-host the Food Network cooking-themed talk show “The Kitchen” alongside Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro and Marcela Valladolid. Between 2016 and 2017, he hosted another Food Network show, entitled “Cooks Vs. Cons”. Moreover, he has also appeared as a judge in such shows as “The Chew”, “Chopped Junior”, and “Beat Bobby Flay”, among many others.
Controversies and Legal Issues
Geoffrey’s former employees sued him for back pay since he allegedly violated labor laws, so he filed for personal bankruptcy in 2011.
Although two of his partners agreed with them, Geoffrey’s publicists denied it and the case was settled out of court. In July of 2015, he pulled out of Donald Trump’s planned restaurant, after the latter made some improper comments related to illegal immigrants. The restaurant should be called “The National” and placed in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. After dropping out, Geoffrey lost his $500,000 deposit for lease, while the Trump Organization filed for a $10 million lawsuit seeking damages linked to his departure. However, the problem was solved out of court in 2017.
There's nothing a little lemon zest can't fix. Am I right? pic.twitter.com/lcu7t770R0
— Geoffrey Zakarian (@gzchef) September 30, 2019
Appearance and Vital Statistics
- Short gray hair
- Green eyes
- Height – 5ft 11ins (1.80m)
- Weight – Unknown
- Body Measurements – Unknown
Personal life: Ex-Wife, Wife Margaret Anne Williams
Geoffrey Zakarian was married to Heather Karaman for ten years. Later, he tied the knot with Margaret Anne Williams in a private wedding ceremony held back in 2005 at Our Lady of Lebanon Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls, New York. His wife comes from Buffalo, New York State, and works as a marking executive for 3Sixty Hospitality.
Their Children and Residence
The couple has three children – their first child, a daughter named Margaret Zakarian, in 2007, then Anna was born two years later, while the couple welcomed their third child, a son named George Harris Zakarian, in 2014. The family lives in Manhattan, New York City.