Zakarian at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
|Born||July 25, 1959 (age 57)
|Education||Worcester State University|
|Years active||1982 â€“ present|
Margaret Anne Williams (m. 2005)
Days off are few and far between in the restaurant business. But on an hour off, I like to have a glass of wine with my wife.
When I step into the kitchen in the morning, I go for the scrambled eggs with pine nuts and minced lamb. When I finish at night, it is hard to resist the burger.
A plate of food has to have balance. For example, a mild fish like skate mustn't be overwhelmed by the side dishes. They should have personality and color, but they also have to be subtle.
Cooking a piece of fish and cooking it right. Knowing the fish, knowing the properties of the fish. That's a hard thing to do rather than covering it with a lot of sauces and foams or other cooking methods that might be high wire acts and look good on the outside.
I don't usually have time for TV. When I get home at night, I just want to fall asleep.
Undercook swordfish, and you get rubber. Overcook it, and you lose the fat and succulence.
Comfort food is really anything you want at that time. That said, I really love Naple-style pizza.
I like tuna when there's a definite streak of deep pink in the middle, medium rare so to speak, and it comes out best when it's not cut too thick.
I begin my day online and end my day online. I like to prepare myself for the next day and have a sense of closure before I go to bed.
Everyone could use instructions on every aspect of cooking: pantry, storage, refrigeration, cooking, what to buy. Everyone that I come into contact with could use help.
There's a point of no return when you're cooking tomatoes. A little too much heat, a little too long in the pot, and you lose that sense of fresh ripeness that makes tomatoes so great.
If you cook chopped tomatoes with all of their juices, it takes a long time for the sauce to reach the right consistency. By then, the freshness is gone.
How you treat the quiet, shy types is the most important. If you leave them to sit in a corner, they will be noticed, and it will affect everyone's time. I instantly spring on them and treat them as royalty, showing them around and introducing them to everyone so they seem special.
Everybody these days wants to be a star, including myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm a chef but you want to market yourself and your projects.
I still have the 'New York Post' delivered because it's so garrulous and nasty and wonderful when you read it in print. Some things just don't translate online.
I've never missed a flight. And I don't see any reason in cutting it close because airports are pleasurable for me: You can go to the restaurant, get a massage, browse books, sit at a bar, check emails.
When I entertain, I want to have fun. But I'm also a control person. I don't go in for those everyone-in-the-kitchen cooking scenes. So if I want to be with my guests, I have to do everything – or nearly everything – in advance.
Shows like 'Top Chef,' 'Hell's Kitchen' have helped bring attention to the culinary world on a whole, but you have to be cautious it doesn't get out of hand.
Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you're not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.
I use the confit principle for chicken thighs. I season them with herbs and garlic, let them marinate, and then cook them in chicken fat.
When you have a chef that wants to be in the spotlight, maybe after one or two appearances on a show, they think they're at a certain level that they haven't reached yet in the kitchen. Shows like 'Top Chef', 'Hell's Kitchen' have helped bring attention to the culinary world.
It's important to salt the tomatoes before draining them because that helps pull out the water. Fresh herbs, some garlic and pepper will also enhance the flavor.
Confit is not something that comes to mind for summer. Usually it means duck confit, made by cooking the legs and thighs in duck fat to preserve them for winter.
I always request a king-size bed, and if I can't, I try to work that out right after I land. I unpack immediately so the clothes don't get wrinkled. I go the gym. I adjust the temperature; I like the room kind of warm. And then turn on CNBC.
If we have meetings, I try to schedule the meetings at different restaurants I want to try – so I always suggest the restaurants.
I do not believe in eating fish hot. People always insist on hot fish, but that leaves it dried out.
The Lamb's Club is going to be a luxury bar and grill; we're not doing an overly fancy restaurant. We wanted to make a space that people will come to every day, almost like a very high-end bistro.
Chestnuts are my favorite ingredient to use in the fall, especially for the holidays. I always find that they are meaty, hearty and have a mysterious refinement when cooked or roasted over sea salt.
I love hospitality, and I love cooking. The kitchen is where I feel most at ease and where I feel most like myself.
I love hotel rooms, so I take pictures of the room and the way out and the lobby, the food and drink.