Geoffrey Zacarian ‘Big Restaurant Bet,’ his family and passion

Chef and TV personality Geoffrey Zacarian He had just finished his degree in economics when traveling abroad changed his life forever.

“A career as a chef got me on a trip to France,” says Geoffrey Nearby. “I fell in love with their fine food culture and since then my new path as a chef and restaurant has been undeniable.”

Before being introduced to television viewers, Geoffrey, 62, honored his skills in a fine dining scene in New York. He is currently the chef / owner of Lamb’s Club and National in Manhattan. On television, he has been a frequent judge CutIt’s out of battle Iron Chef ‘s Kitchen Stadium and its co-hosts The kitchen.

Geoffrey’s latest competition series, Big restaurant bets, Tuesday, April 5, at 10 pm ET premiered on Food Network

If you weren’t a chef, what would you do?

“I was trying to be a professional golfer. I’m a real golf junkie. “

How did your 30 years at the restaurant prepare you to become a television food expert?

“It simply came to our notice then. But I guess it can be said that as a chef and a TV personality you are in the business of entertaining people. Both are about attracting your audience. “

Do you ever miss working full time in a kitchen?

“Well, I always cook, so I don’t miss being in the kitchen. But I miss the buzz I get due to having a busy service. Chefs like it! ”

Your heritage is Armenian and Polish. Has your family given you any valuable recipes?

“My mother and aunts did great cooking, but not much was written. I have a common way of making my mom’s sugar cookies and some of her Middle Eastern dishes, but I really had to pay attention to the way they made things so I could remember. It was all very unscientific – little of it and little of it. “

What was the most interesting lesson from the culinary school that really stuck with you?

“I learned about the value of capital and when opening a restaurant you need more than you need. It was at the culinary school that I began to really understand the financial aspects of the industry. “

Tell us a little about your new series, Big restaurant bet.

“It’s a competition where we see more than just cooking skills. There is a different set of skills to run a restaurant. So am I. I am excited to learn more from the audience They never know about the restaurant business.

Working on a food network seems like a lot of fun. Who do you hang out with most of their stable chefs?

“It’s true, we always have an explosion. We get a lot of time together, especially for The Kitchen, where we stay together for seven to eight days. Jeff Mauro, Scott Conant And Michael Simon Great friend. We can just hang out for a living! ”

Did you have an invaluable mentor when you first started on television?

“Not directly, but watching all the people who have cooked on TV before me – Emeryl Lagse, Bobby Flay, Martha Stewart – I noticed and learned from what they did. “

Do you think food television has helped Americans cook better at home?

“That’s why they are good cooks. And they’re not just good cooks, they’re using ingredients they’ve never touched before. Look at the food people ate 30 years ago, and it’s shocking. “

On CutChef competitors need to make a dish out of a basket Mystery material. What a strange thing you were eating Cut?

“The river rat had to be the worst and weirdest. Fortunately, that wasn’t the second time I saw it in the basket! “

When judging, if you taste a food that is really disgusting, how can you hide your true feelings? Or do you think that you will not be left behind?

“We always point out what’s positive about the dish first, because if you start with the negative, people stop and they can’t learn. We are not lagging behind, but we are always trying to be constructive. “

You have been married to your wife Margaret since 2005. What is the secret of a happy married life?

“The right amount of roses!”

You also have three children. Are they interested in cooking? Would you encourage them to follow it professionally?

“They all understand food and have great palate, but no one has shown interest in it as a career yet. I don’t push it, and I don’t discourage them. I let them find their way. The thing that worries me the most is that they find something they’re passionate about. “

What is your family’s favorite food you make for them?

“Pasta is really high on the list. I made gonochi with pesto the other night and they ate it. I also make an average chicken finger from scratch. “

What is your number one tip for home cooking?

“If you get organized before you start, you will enjoy the process even more. Prepare everything ahead of time. Also, use the best ingredients possible. “

Outside of cooking, what do you do for fun?

“Whenever possible, I play golf, fish, exercise, read and travel. In a special order. “

What else do you want to achieve in your life?

“If my kids grow up being kind and humble in everything they do, it will be enough for me.”

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