Professional chefs, amateur cooks, and food porn addicts across the globe might recognize Geoffrey Zakarian from various TV shows on the Food Network — he currently co-hosts The Kitchen, owns two restaurants (with a few more on the way!), and is about to start hosting a brand new podcast series with iHeartRadio. Needless to say, Geoffrey is doing it all.
Distractify was able to catch up with the culinary master and TV personality to discuss everything he loves about working on the beloved Food Network series, the best meal he's ever made on the show, and what some of his more latest projects entail, so stay tuned for all of the ~delicious details.~
Geoffrey says 'The Kitchen' is so successful because of the authentic chemistry between his co-hosts.
Regardless of your professional field, one of the most important things about your job is your co-workers... and it seems as though Geoffrey lucked out. The culinary all-star tells us that the on-screen chemistry with his The Kitchen co-hosts (Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, and Marcela Valladolid) is 100 percent authentic, and that completely makes the show.
"The first thing everybody says who stops to ask me about The Kitchen is [if the hosts] really like each other... and it’s true, we really like each other... we all bring really different skill sets to the that show. That's why the show is so successful," he says. "Everyone has something to add to the pot, and that’s why the show works. We all just really respect each other."
MY HEART. I love them so, so much.
After 300 wildly successful episodes, Geoffrey's favorite dish is...one we haven't seen yet.
The Kitchen recently celebrated its 300th episode, and that means Geoffrey has made over 1,500 dishes on-screen (seriously unreal!). However, he made one of his all-time favorite dishes — roast duck — in a recent episode that hasn't even aired yet. And although it's easy, Geoffrey says there are two tricks behind perfecting it.
"We did a thing like Iron Chef where we just sort of pulled out our favorite ways to cook really simple food and I showed everyone duck breast — it's one of my favorite things," he says. "It’s very easy but there are two things you have to do to be successful— [cook it on] low heat, and you have to really make sure you season your duck very thoroughly. Duck is a bland animal, so use seasoning and herbs — a lot of rustic flavors."
The episode is airing in about two weeks, so keep an eye out!
Off-screen, Geoffrey is working on a slew of food-related projects.
In addition to his two already-open Manhattan restaurants, Geoffrey is in the midst of opening a third in the theater district, as well as one in the Middle East, in Doha, Qatar. He also has his sights set on a few projects in Florida, with more details to come. Needless to say, my stomach is already grumbling.
Additionally, Geoffrey is about to start recording a podcast with Corner Table Entertainment and iHeartMedia — it's going to premiere on several iHeart broadcast stations nationwide, and in each episode, the 60-year-old chef will interview professionals in all fields, from athletes to chefs and actors.
"We’re doing a 30 episode season with three seasons, through iHeartRadio, and we’re really excited about that," he explained. "It's going to focus on lifestyle, performance, and food, looking at what fuels high performing individuals."
The first few episodes will record at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in February 2020, so get ready for all of the daily professional inspo.
Outside of work, Geoffrey loves cooking with his kids.
Geoffrey is a father to three kids — Madeline, Anna, and George — and one of his favorite family pastimes unsurprisingly takes place in the kitchen. The Zakarians cook together regularly, which is why he decided to partner with Campbell's Soup to introduce their "Kids in the Kitchen" initiative, encouraging families to cook together. And since Campbell's Soup serves as a key ingredient in many of his favorite dishes, from Creamy Brussel Sprouts to Bucatini Carbonara, he felt the partnership was a good fit.
"Children are very attracted to cooking because it’s organized chaos. And you can eat your chaos at the end, and that’s important. It’s also a place where you can really spend time together without really making time," he explains.
"And when you’re in the kitchen, you’re spending valuable time cooking and talking, so we really love it because at the end of the day, it's all about spending time with your family. Magically, cooking is one of those special times."
From slaying it on The Kitchen and opening new restaurants to hosting a podcast and maintaining a close relationship with his family, Geoffrey is one of the most productive people out there. Good luck keeping up with him, though — it seems like he's always hungry for more.