Chef Geoffrey Zakarian
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 front-of-house, 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 a Pastry Cook to second-in-command under Chef Alain Sailhac, and then throughout a series of apprenticeships at some of the most iconic and celebrated restaurants across Western Europe.
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.
In 2001, 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 TimesThree-Star review. Zakarian next opened 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, it was also awarded a Michelin Star.
In the ensuing years, as Zakarian expanded his fine-dining empire to include outposts in South Florida, Atlantic City, Sonoma and soon to open Doha, Qatar. He also continued to build on his well-established reputation in New York City, reimagining midtown power-dining for the 21stcentury with the opening of both The Lambs Club, at The Chatwal Hotel, and The National, at The Benjamin Hotel.
When he’s not at work in his own restaurants, Zakarian is focused on bringing his unique vision directly into the homes of food-enthusiasts everywhere, as a Food Network television star (“The Kitchen,” “Chopped,” “Iron Chef America”), as an author (Town/Country, 2006; My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients, 2014), and the creator of his own line of gourmet foods and culinary tools for the home cook.
As his portfolio of projects continues to grow, everything that bears Zakarian’s name reflects his unwavering commitment to authenticity, design, quality, and his stated mission –to inspire, teach, and share the art of living well.
As President of Zakarian Hospitality LLC, Margaret Zakarian has played an integral part in building the Zakarian brand. After graduating from New York University, her first foray into the world of restaurants was with the group that created Republic, Indochine, Bond St., Thom Bar, and A60 at the 60 Thompson Hotel. From there she became the Director of Marketing for Lotus, the famed restaurant and nightclub that started it all in the Meatpacking District. While at Lotus, Margaret played an integral role in launching the Meatpacking District Initiative and was a key force behind the marketing concept for The Double Seven, a high-end cocktail bar also located in Meatpacking.
In 2005, Margaret married Geoffrey Zakarian, and together they introduced the critically-acclaimed restaurant Country, earning 3 Stars from The New York Times and a Michelin Star. From there, they went on to open The Lambs Club and The National in New York in 2010 Together, they also crafted the food and beverage program at The Water Club at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and reimagined the food, design and bar at the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel in 2014. Expanding to Florida in 2016, they opened two concepts in The Diplomat Beach Resort in Ft Lauderdale: Point Royal, a coastal American restaurant, and Counter Point, a lively quick serve coffee cafe.
Outside of the restaurants, Margaret has developed and launched a kitchenwares product line titled, Zakarian Pro For Home, which brings pro chef efficiencies to the home kitchen with innovative cook ware and tools, as well as a line of food products titled, Zakarian Collection, including beef, poultry, coffee, tea, olive oil, baked items and other pantry staples.
Margaret’s eye for detail and design, combined with Geoffrey’s classical culinary technique, lends their company, Zakarian Hospitality, its unique advantage when it comes to all their endeavors. In design builds, Margaret works with laser focus to tie the entire guest experience together from graphic design, restaurant layout, tabletop items, staff flow and, most importantly, outward messaging of the brand through strategic partnerships and interesting purveyors. Geoffrey and Margaret often remind each other “It’s 20% about the food and 80% about everything else.” Margaret’s marketing savvy and ability to keep her “finger on the pulse” of the food world’s rapidly-evolving landscape has allowed their brand to remain relevant yet classic. “It is crucial that we retain integrity and authenticity as we grow,” says Margaret. “The customer experience is always at the forefront of what we are planning and doing.”
Today, Margaret lives in New York and sits on the board of the Young President’s Organization (YPO Metro). She is also a member of City Harvest’s Food Council.