Geoffrey Zakarian Fails to Impress Food Network Viewers: ‘You Just Heat Up Food’

If you’re a fan of The Food Network, you can hardly miss Geoffrey Zakarian. He’s appeared on many of their shows, and he is well known for things like using chopsticks to sample the food during judging on the cooking competition show Chopped

But if you think this means he’s well-loved, you’d be wrong. Zakarian simply rubs some viewers the wrong way.

A star in the restaurant industry

Geoffrey Zakarian
Geoffrey Zakarian | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Zakarian has an impressive history as a chef. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of Art in New York, he worked in restaurants in France. In 1982, he returned to the New York food world, working as a pastry sous chef at the famous restaurant Le Circe. By the time he left, he’d worked his way up to the vaunted position of Chef de Cuisine and was on his way to a meteoric rise in the restaurant industry. 

He opened his first restaurant, named Town, in 2001. From there he went on to write a cookbook, develop a line of kitchen products, and open other restaurants. 

He clearly has multiple claims to fame, including being sued by the Trump Organization (the lawsuit was settled out of court). But despite all of these high-profile events in his life, Zakarian is probably best known for his work on The Food Network. 

He became a Food Network star

RELATED: ‘The Kitchen’: Food Network Fans Love Watching Their Favorite Chefs Cooking at Home

In 2010, Zakarian competed on Iron Chef America, but he didn’t win. The next year he was back, trying his skills on The Next Iron Chef, and this time he was victorious. Since then, he’s appeared on a number of Food Network shows, including Cooks vs. Cons and The Kitchen. He’s also been a judge on many of the competitive cooking shows, such as Chopped, Hell’s Kitchen, and Top Chef

When you put together his many accomplishments in the restaurant industry and on the Food Network, you might expect Zakarian to impress the network’s viewers. But as it turns out, that’s not entirely the case. 

Viewers have a few complaints

Fans of The Food Network recently took to Reddit to air their complaints about Zakarian, and they had a few things they wanted to get off their chests. 

The first person started the conversation with a bang. “To use a FRIENDS quote, “I hate that guy!”. He rubs me the wrong way in every show he has managed to worm his way into. Ick. Am I alone here? I’m sure he’s a perfectly fine person in real life- I’m speaking about his on-air persona. He just comes off greasy/slimy. And his pretentious use of chopsticks to eat everything doesn’t help.”

If that commenter thought they might be the only one who felt that way, others quickly chimed in with their support. 

“You are not alone,” another person said. “I think he’s a pompous ass. You would think he invented cooking the way he thinks so highly of himself. You don’t work for SpaceX, bro. You just heat up food.”

Another agreed, saying, “You are totally on point! Zakarin is a very pompous jerk. He hates being part of The Kitchen, he looks down on his co-stars, with a very arrogant attitude. The problem is he is not likable or relatable to host his own show.”

While some people protested that he seemed nice enough, many of the comments agreed that he was hard to take. Part of the reason may be that viewers are getting sick of competition shows, which are his wheelhouse. “Cooking and cooking shows are kind of a therapy for me. Not so into the rushed and loud beat the buzzer stuff or the silly over critical judges rulings on ridiculous ingredients.”

However, for some people, he’s just plain annoying. As one person put it, “I feel you on GZ, one of my least favorite people on FN.”

Fortunately for him, Zakarian has other successes in his life to ease the sting of those who disapprove of him.