GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN QUOTES

Armenian-American restaurateur (1959- )

I'll transform anything as long as it's edible.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, "Newly Crowned Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Admits He Loves Microwaves", Miami New Times, Dec. 21, 2011

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If you give a discount there's a desperation there and I like to substitute desperation with service and real quality. And the desperation goes away.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food Republic, Sep. 11, 2012

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I really don't limit myself in any way. I just search for great flavors and marriages wherever they come from.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Rappler

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Tags: cooking


I don't even look at resumes anymore. I think they're misguided. I talk to them, ask them where they've been, "What's your favorite experience in a restaurant?" Where do they like to eat? Blah blah blah. All that stuff, but I can only really describe my journey with another person if I can connect with them and their passion. Otherwise, I don't care where they've worked. It doesn't matter to me. Really I have to feel it, and then I can teach them anything.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food GPS, Jun. 18, 2012

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I always go to the lowest common denominator for that ingredient. So if I think squash, I try to think what it means to me -- and if it doesn't mean anything to me, I'm not gonna do well when I cook it. So [squash] means to me: fall, maple syrup, cinnamon, and things just come into your head so you can narrow the vortex and make it a bit smaller and you go with something because there's no time.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, "Newly Crowned Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Admits He Loves Microwaves", Miami New Times, Dec. 21, 2011

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It's really an honor to be included in such an incredible lineup of chefs. The team Borgata has assembled is by far one of the best on the East Coast.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Atlantic City Weekly, Jan. 4, 2012

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The most important things in life happen over conversations while eating. We hope to create a huge conversation while we are there!

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Rappler

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Tags: eating


I got killed against Morimoto. I brought out white plates with food; I thought that was really nice. He brings out sculptures of ice, Noah's ark made of balsa wood that he carved at his restaurant downstairs, smoking trees ... When I saw that, I looked at my sous chef and I'm like, we're toast.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, "Q&A With Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian", Food Network, Dec. 19, 2011

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I wish that restaurateurs would choose simpler and smaller glassware. The tables on restaurants these days are way too crowded, and mostly because the plates are too odd looking and big, and the wine glasses are so gigantic that it takes up the whole surface area and you can't move. I prefer smaller glassware.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Pop Sugar

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I'm very active. I've got two small daughters and four restaurants in three cities. I'm busy.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food GPS, Jun. 18, 2012

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The worst day is just that I did not enter the culinary world sooner. And the best day was seeing the reaction of my one year old daughter when she tasted her first crisp apple!

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food Arts, May 10, 2012

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My agent called me and said, they watched you do Chopped Champions and they thought you'd be good for this competition. What do you think? And I said, well, what do you think? He said he thought it would be great and I said let's do it. When you decide to do this, you don't really think that you're going to win it. I thought it would be fun, good to test my mettle; games are fun like that. Why not? I'll try it.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, "Q&A With Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian", Food Network, Dec. 19, 2011

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We had a bar chef. We made our own bitters. I treated the bar like I treated the restaurant, like [bartender Albert Trummer] is the chef here. He'd light the bar on fire; back then no one would give a shit. It was exciting because of what we did and the vibe. The design was nice but it was the people, the food and talent. It was a hotel restaurant and we made it really special.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food Republic, Sep. 11, 2012

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What we've witnessed in the past 25 or 30 years is just incredible. We've birthed 30,000 or 40,000 restaurants. I used to go to Europe every year to get experience [and ideas]. I don't go to Europe anymore. I go to Oregon, I go to Washington, I go to Louisiana, I go to Little Rock, I go to Austin, I travel New York City. I don't go to Europe anymore.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Reason Magazine

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It's so funny. I honestly thought every one of those people on the show could beat anyone at any time anywhere. You just have to have a slightly off day or moment or two or you missed a touch of acid. It has nothing to do with credentials. Anyone could've chopped anyone at any time. I had to look at myself as the one who could lose this the most.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Pop Sugar

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I like old fashioned things. We have these old wine buckets at the restaurant and none of them match.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food Republic, Sep. 11, 2012

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I don't enjoy eating humble pie.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Food GPS, Jun. 18, 2012

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Tags: humility


I was shocked when they told me congratulations, you won, that's the good news. Then the bad news is that you have six battles next week. That was a bit of a shocker. I was exhausted. And I had Chopped shooting that same week. I didn't have a sous chef lined up; I thought that was bad karma to try to think ahead. So I scrambled. I scrambled the jets, took off and we bombed our target. I think it's gone well.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, "Q&A With Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian", Food Network, Dec. 19, 2011

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They are iconic restaurants I guess -- you're right. Those are really proving grounds. They're our chef's school. I learned by working with great chefs. That was your apprenticeship, working 80 hours a week or more for no money. If you love what you do, you have to learn by people who know and love what they do. You can never learn what I learned in a school. In a restaurant, you're cooking for actual paying customers. You're part of an environment where you're in a real live restaurant. On the other side, a school gives you a well-rounded experience. School is important, but working is paramount. If you have an opportunity to work in a kitchen, do it.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Feb. 23, 2011

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My mother's blueberry pie from scratch was amazing. I still make it today.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN, interview, Rappler

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