‘Chopped’ Star Geoffrey Zakarian Adds Content Production to His Menu


Geoffrey Zakarian has develop into one of the recognizable faces on Meals Community as a choose on “Chopped” and co-host of “The Kitchen.”

However the chef and restaurateur behind New York Metropolis’s Lambs Membership and different spots has steadily expanded the scope of his work in TV to embody behind-the-camera exercise as a content material producer. As Zakarian explains within the newest episode of Selection podcast “Strictly Enterprise,” he launched Nook Desk Leisure in 2017, which put him within the excellent place to assist ship new reveals for Meals Community and different retailers featured within the newly launched Discovery Plus streamer.

The fledgling streaming service that launched Jan. 4, in Zakarian’s view, “is a voracious animal. It retains consuming up the content material. We maintain feeding it extra and it by no means will get fats.”

Zakarian has loads of expertise in enterprise and with startup ventures. He loves the inventive technique of creating new reveals and new spins on conventional Meals Community/Cooking Channel themes. “How will we put that in a beaker, shake it up and give you an important new cocktail,” he says. “We’re simply getting began.”

Along with his Nook Desk companion Jaret Keller, Zakarian has produced two telethons that aired final yr in New York to increase cash for anti-hunger organizations and for COVID-19 aid for restaurant employees and others who’re going through monetary hardships due to the pandemic. The corporate is also at work on a documentary with Tribeca Enterprises concerning the devastation of New York Metropolis’s restaurant scene.

“We’re capturing it because it truly occurs,” Zakarian says.

Zakarian’s background within the culinary world helped give him the abilities to assume on his ft and to be extraordinarily adaptable to any conditions — all traits which have helped him navigate his second profession in TV. When requested whether or not it’s tougher to launch a restaurant or launch a TV present, Zakarian doesn’t hesitate.

“Within the bodily brick-and-mortar world of opening a restaurant — the primary three months are like having a knowledge tooth pulled each 45 minutes,” he says. “It’s loopy, nutty, risky, rife with issues and authorized stuff and lawsuits — all these things comes at you.”

Producing tv, against this, is much less do-or-die. “With a restaurant, that’s all you’re doing is one factor — opening a restaurant. If it doesn’t work, you’re screwed,” he says.

With content material, he’s discovered there’s way more room to maneuver and alter course.

“Should you don’t like this one present, we’ve received one other,” he says.

“Strictly Enterprise” is Selection’s weekly podcast that includes conversations with business leaders concerning the enterprise of media and leisure. A brand new episode debuts every Wednesday and will be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.


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