The Daughters of Geoffrey Zakarian Are Stars in Their Own Right
Anna and Madeline Zakarian co-wrote their first cookbook
For years, Geoffrey Zakarian has won over the hearts and stomachs of many. The celebrity chef has been seen on Food Network shows such as Chopped, The Kitchen, Iron Chef America, and more — in addition to owning a host of high-end restaurants.
In the past few years, though, Zakarian has been sharing the spotlight with the people he loves best: his wife, Margaret; daughters, Madeline and Anna, and son, George.
In 2020, Madeline and Anna co-wrote their first cookbook, The Family That Cooks Together: 85 Zakarian Family Recipes From Our Table to Yours. The sisters also made an appearance at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, where their parents co-hosted a fashion show and luncheon.
Recently, Anna and Madeline co-hosted the Electric Safari event to benefit City Harvest. Broken Palate caught up with the Zakarian sisters to find out what it was like co-hosting a charity event, utilizing social media, and what they like to eat.
BP: What was it like co-hosting the Electric Circus?
Anna: It was so fun to co-host the Electric Safari. I loved doing all the fun activities, tasting around all the different NYC restaurant food tables, and hanging out with everyone. My favorite part was decorating the mini safari-themed cakes.
Madeline: It was such an amazing opportunity to host the City Harvest event. I had so much fun and got to taste delicious food. I loved dancing and making crafts as well as catching up with friends
BP: Can you share what it means to you to help others through City Harvest?
Madeline: I believe that food feeds your soul. I love being able to help people eat fresh and nutritious food. It means so much to me that everyone can experience the opportunity of fresh ingredients and the opportunity to be a part of the city harvest family.
Anna: Helping City Harvest means a lot to me and I am so happy to be part of it. It makes me think about not taking things for granted, and how I should do my best to help other people. Whether it is helping to raise funds or hands-on packing food to go to shelters, it fills me with such accomplishment knowing how many people we can reach. No matter your age, you can really make a difference!
BP: You have co-written a cookbook about family cooking. When did you start cooking? Was it something you always did?
Anna and Madeline: We can't remember when we started because it seems like it was before we could remember! We were always in the kitchen for fun or for mealtime. Now we cook for ourselves and for our friends.
BP: Do you all sit down as a family to dinner? What are some family food favorites you have in the house?
Anna: Yes, we always sit down all together for dinner and also for breakfast. The table is always set for both meals and at night, we try to have a proper meal, even when we have to eat quickly to go do our homework. Some of our dinner favorites are steamed cod with ginger and coconut rice, spaghetti bolognese, dad's chili, and even sometimes a simple crisp chopped salad.
BP: You share an Instagram account — what do you like to post and why?
Madeline: We started @theZakarianSisters a bit before we published the cookbook. We felt it was an important way to tell a bit about ourselves, share news about what we are up to, and bring awareness to important things like City Harvest. Social is a great way to get the message out there - especially about how to help fight hunger!
BP: What are your favorite things to eat and cook?
Madeline: I love to make tartines. Most recently I made a chicken Milanese tartine on ciabatta with arugula, pesto, burrata, EVOO, and truffled balsamic glaze. I also always make soufflés when we have a family dinner party or for my friends.
Anna: I am super into shaved ice recently, which was inspired by a service trip I went on to the Dominican Republic. While there, we stopped at a roadside stand to get these fresh pineapple drinks, so when I got home, I ordered a shaved ice machine from Amazon and am making vanilla pineapple ice cubes to put in the shaver to recreate it. At the other end of the spectrum, I love to eat sushi and dumplings as well, especially at Bond St in NYC.
BP: Do either of you want to follow in your dad's footsteps and be a chef? own a restaurant? And why?
Anna: Not sure running a restaurant is in my future, but I would love to follow in his footsteps with his sense of style and hospitality. I love traveling and exploring, and bringing back ideas and recipes to recreate.
Madeline: I will definitely continue with something culinary, hospitality, and business related. Looking forward to seeing where it all takes me!