Yesterday we spoke with Geoffrey Zakarian, chef at the National and the Lambs Club, about his big win on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. Today he reveals his plans for Christmas and New Year’s, and what trend he’d most like to see end in 2012.
What was the most important lesson you ever learned in the kitchen?
Definitely that you need to work harder than everyone else and need an extraordinary sense of humility. I’ve been blessed to have had great teachers.
You have restaurants in both New York and Florida. How do the two cities’ restaurant cultures compare?
Well, you know the culture of all cities is different. But Miami has taken leaps and bounds, and it’s amazing down there now. You see chefs going down there and it drives everyone to get better.
How are you spending the holidays?
I have a wonderful family in upstate New York, and we’ll be going up there. I’ll be cooking and eating for the next God-knows-how-many days. The kids love it and we get to relax and enjoy our family.
What are some of the things you’ll be cooking?
We go very classic, so we’ll have rib roast. On Christmas Day, we’re doing homemade pizza. And some classic Lebanese dishes because my mother-in-law is Lebanese.
And on New Year’s?
We are working! We have a very busy New Year’s Eve and we’re right near Times Square, so I’ll be working and celebrating at the Lambs Club.
Any New Year’s resolutions?
No. I don’t usually make resolutions.
What is one food trend you’d like to see in 2012?
I’d like to see a return to fine dining.
And any you’d like to see end?
There are so many trends that I’d like to see the definition of “trends” end. Everyone always asks me about trends. I want to have a year without trends.