There’s nothing casual about Geoffrey Zakarian, acclaimed restaurateur, judge on Chopped, and host of The Kitchen on Food Network.
After kicking off his career at New York hot spot Le Cirque (picture very upscale circus-tent-themed decor and spectacular food), he opened restaurants that earned rave reviews (the Lambs Club in New York City, Georgie at Montage Beverly Hills, and Point Royal at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Florida), published two cookbooks, and became a renowned TV personality.
Geoffrey, or “GZ” as he’s known on-screen, is seriously impressive, and so is his Easter Sunday brunch. After church, he and his family—which includes his wife, Margaret, and their kids (Madeline, 10; Anna, 8; and George, 3), plus Margaret’s parents and sister—all gather for a memorable meal.
Geoffrey Zakarian's Easter Brunch Menu
Ham is the nonnegotiable hero of their holiday table: The Zakarians make an orange-and-honey-glazed recipe that’s become a tradition over the past few years.
Recipe: Try Geoffrey Zakarian's Orange & Honey Glazed Ham
The sides are light, colorful, and seasonal; GZ elevates the standard Easter peas and carrots and adds a delicious roasted–Jerusalem artichokes dish to the mix.
Then there’s the Instagrammable decor: Flax-colored Pottery Barn linens allow the mint Venezia porcelain dinner collection by Vista Alegre and patterned glassware to shine. Instead of using one massive floral arrangement, Margaret scatters small, loose bouquets along the runner, which makes it easier to talk across the table.
Margaret has mastered the look of a laid-back, elegant table. “Pick one or two shades for everything,” she says. “We went with greens and soft yellow.” Even the gold Oneida flatware and fresh flowers stick to her palette!
And what’s Easter without dessert? GZ’s homemade marshmallow chicks (also served at the Lambs Club) are a labor of love that the kids can help with, and his strawberry-mango tart is a surprisingly (ahem) EZ final course!
GZ and his three-year-old mini-me, George, enjoy father-son time during brunch. “George is a jacket-and-tie kind of a guy, just like his dad,” says Geoffrey.
The gang keeps it simple when it comes to drinks, toasting with Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé for the adults and sparkling water for the kids.
GZ and Margaret get their littles involved in decorating: Eldest daughter Madeline (above, left) practices calligraphy on the place cards, while Anna (above, right) fills small candy jars with jelly beans. Leave a jar at each setting so guests can snack on them after lunch or take them to go.
While adding eyes to the marshmallow chicks, the girls sneak a quick sample before the main meal!
Bonus content! More from Geoffrey Zakarian's Easter Brunch: