11 Things You Didn’t Know About Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Shows, June 5th, 2013

Geoffrey ZakarianYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

Geoffrey Zakarian is the chef of The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City. His former New York City restaurants, Town and Country, both received three stars from The New York Times. Besides his judging duties on Chopped, you’ll also find Geoffrey on Iron Chef America. He won the title of Iron Chef in the third season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. One thing you might not have known about Geoffrey is that if he hadn’t become a chef, he might have been a concert pianist.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Geoffrey Zakarian: White truffle oil.

What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
GZ: Anything from McDonald’s.

What was your most memorable meal? What? Where? Who? Details, please.
GZ: Anything I share with my amazing wife and kids. It never gets any better.

What’s your guilty-pleasure food?
GZ: Rosé.

Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
GZ: Sushi.

What kitchen tool can you not live without?
GZ: An iPhone.

If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
GZ: Concert pianist.

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
GZ: Lyon, France.

What’s your favorite late-night snack?
GZ: Don’t eat late night. Ever.

What’s one must-have at your last supper?
GZ: Krug.

Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
GZ: My two kids.

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Hot dog
Cream cheese or butter? French butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Neither

Get to Know the Rest of the Judges:
Aarón Sánchez
Alex Guarnaschelli
Amanda Freitag
Chris Santos
Maneet Chauhan
Marc Murphy
Marcus Samuelsson
Scott Conant

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Comments (24)

  1. Susan B. says:

    Really enjoy Mr. Zakarian on Chopped and Iron Chef…admire him among the Chopped judges because he has actually been one of the Chopped contestants. Agree with him on mustard, vanilla, butter and water :)

  2. rsjem1979 says:

    I have a theory that Geoffrey owns thousands of pairs of glasses, wears each of them once, and throws them on a fire at the end of the day.

    Truth?

  3. Tinkerbell says:

    I'm sorry but doesn't anyone remember during the iron chef completion that Geoffrey left off a main ingredient!?
    if I'm wrong , please, please correct me, b/c it is painful to watch him judge Chopped & chop someone for leaving an ingredient off ?

    • Nok says:

      No he did, He paid his way into the show. He DID NOT even come close to winning fairly! It's really sad I used to like IC and the NIC but now I see how much of a fraud it is. It was SO Obvious that no matter how bad he did he cheated his way to the top! Then the next season was worse when he smugly kicked out Elizabeth Faulkner. He knows she should have won but didn't because of his cheating or I should say more like paying his way to the top. I think he would have been better off leaving it as a legit competition and given everyone a FAIR chance at winning and just paying his way in and having it announced he's now an IC too.

      • Mary says:

        How did he pay his way into the show? What motivation would the producers have for accepting a bribe from him as you say? What you don't understand is that when you have these competitions you are seeing a highly edited version of what is going on and that is why it may seem like a contestant is doing better than the winner but then you wouldn't feel that way if you saw all the footage including all the judge's comments. The producers edit shows this way to make it seem like the person who ultimately loses is winning because they are trying to create suspense until the last minute.

  4. Jalen says:

    me and my grandmother were thinking about regular people like my grandfather and I who love to cook together competing on the show?

  5. T B Jones says:

    I just finished watching the Chopped episode The British Invasion where Mr. Zakarian was a judge. It is my opinion that Mr Zakarian inappropriately assisted a contestant and there by giving him the win and 10,000 Dollars. Had he not advised the competitor to put what he had on the plate the competitor would most likely have not completed the last task. A JUDGE CANNOT AND MUST NOT ASSIST A CONTESTANT.

    • Mary says:

      Come on that is stupid. All of the judges shout out put it on the plate when the contestants are losing time and they should be plating already. Also it's not intended to be a silent show because you have the judges talking about the ingredients, how to cook them and what not to do with them right as the contestants are cooking. For example a contestant might be thinking about grilling an ingredient then a judge comments that it should really be served raw and never cooked. All of a sudden you get advice that may mean the difference between being chopped and being saved.

  6. M Jones says:

    Chopped used to be our favorite cooking show until we discovered that you have a group of judges that seem very unfair. If there is an African American contestant, it is almost certain that will be your 1st elimination. If by chance that contestant makes it to fhe finals, look out. Every now and then there is a winner. Automatically now when you start that with the 1st eliminations,, we change channels.

    • Mary says:

      Come on that's nonsense. First you say all African-American contestants are likely to be chopped first then you yourself are admitting that there are times when the African-American contestants are not chopped in the first round and there are times when they actually win. Considering how few episodes there are and the number of African-Americans who compete in those episodes, I would say the numbers are pretty randomly distributed.

    • @Spikester81 says:

      The first Chopped Grand Champion was African-American….

      • Jsl says:

        the 1st AND 2nd Chopped grand champions are both blacks actually so pretty hard to argue discrimination. I think I know what M Jones may be refering to…but in my opinion while I think it is somewhat true the black contestants seemed to get chopped earlier BUT I don't think it has anything to do with their color, but rather their performance.

        By the way I am black myself – and love Chopped.

  7. Cammie says:

    I think chopped judges stink. Very self righteous and arrogant. They should watch "master chefs UK", and get a lesson on how to give good constructive comments and praise. I personally feel Geoffrey is to full of himself and wouldn't help anybody to get ahead!

  8. Patty gregory says:

    Geoffrey is a class act all the way

  9. A. QUINN says:

    DEAR MR. ZAKARIAN,
    MY HUSBAND AND I THINK THAT YOU ARE SUCH A WONDERFUL CHEF AND YOU CERTAINLY
    DESERVED TO WIN IRON CHEF, WE WERE REALLY PULLING FOR YOU!!
    I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU A QUESTION EVEN THOUGH YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER SEE THIS. AS A JUDGE ON CHOPPED…WHY DO THE CONTESTENTS HAVE TO TELL US ABOUT THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCES, ALONG WITH DETAILS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO WITH THEIR COOKING ABILITIES? I DO NOT FEEL LIKE I SHOULD HAVE TO EXPLAIN THESE THINGS TO MY CHILDREN BEFORE THEY ARE READY…..THIS IS A COOKING SHOW!!
    YOU SEEM LIKE YOU ARE A MAN THAT WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT POINT OF VIEW, MAYBE I AM WRONG…BUT I WISH WE COULD STICK TO CULINARY TOPICS.
    THANK YOU

    • Mary says:

      I kindof agree with you..I'm not that oldfashioned, and everyone has a right to chose how they live their lives, but it's awkward to me to hear a woman repeatedly mention her wife..just weird..not wrong-just weird…

  10. Benita Juarez says:

    I think Geoffrey Z is homophobic and he seems very judge mental of people who are different.

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