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Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Talks Judging, Cooking And His New Cruise Ship Restaurants

November 19, 2012 04:30 PM by Veronica Dudo

The Next Iron Chef’s Geoffrey Zakarian recently hosted a food and wine event at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. The Food Network and Top Chef judge joined other celebrity chefs for the fifth annual Savor Borgata where he mixed and mingled with hundreds of foodies. We caught up with Zakarian to talk about Chopped, preparing his menus at The Water Club and his new venture out on the high seas!

This year, Savor Borgata featured the resort’s world-class chefs offering guests the chance to “sip, savor and celebrate” with Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck American Grille), Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay Steak), Michael Mina (SEABLUE), Michael Schulson (Izakaya), Stephen Kalt (Fornelletto), Zakarian (The Water Club), Thaddeus DuBois (Borgata Executive Pastry Chef) and restaurateurs Greg and Marc Sherry along with Chef Romeo DiBona (Old Homestead Steak House).

Looking back on 2012, Zakarian tells She Knows’ Reality TV Magazine that he had, “An aggressively busy year–which is good!”

He just wrapped taping season five of The Food Network’s hit TV competition, The Next Iron Chef but this time he’s a judge. Zakarian says he takes his role very seriously especially when critiquing his peers, “I’m very careful,” he explains.

“I take it very seriously and they’re not just competitors, they’re my brothers and sisters. I’ve known them for years and they might have lost last year and I’m judging them–it could be borderline strange but we just stick to the criteria and it always works. So, I don’t feel bad but we’re careful that we do it correctly.” He explained.

Zakarian hosted, “Absolutely Fabulous with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian” to kick-off the food and wine event, Savor Borgata. He prepared a four-course tasting of small bites designed for the 700 room property, The Water Club.

“I’m the Culinary Lifestyle Director for The Water Club which is the sister hotel of the Borgata,” he explained, “It’s small with only 700 rooms versus 3,000 rooms. We came in 2007 when they were building it and I oversee room service, the banquets, the bars and the Sunroom so I put my imprint on all of them.” He said.

Savor Borgata is a unique event, one that Zakarian says offers fans a very special opportunity. “There are not a lot of events like this where you can actually say hi to a chef, take a picture, have some food and then go to their restaurant; so to have this here is really very fortunate. It’s almost like a little mini-food festival.” He said.

Continuing to expand his brand, Zakarian is currently working on opening four restaurants on two Norwegian Cruise Liners.

“We’re actually building and designing the restaurant on the ship which is in Germany it’s the third largest ship in the world. It’s amazing–a great experience and we’re training a chef at our restaurant and we’re going to install that chef and then jump on the boat, cook for a week and then jump back off again and then they’ll continue to do that on and on,” he explained, adding, “We’re very excited.”

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Photo Credit: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Food Network Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

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