Zov Karamardian of Zov's Bistro, Part 1
Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela

Zov Karamardian of Zov's Bistro, Part 1

Zov Karamardian is a restauranteur's restauranteur. Her Zov's Bistro in Tustin has won more awards than most have customers and in recent years she's expanded her empire to Newport Beach and Irvine. She still has time to host charity events as well as write a best-selling cookbook called Zov: Recipes and Memories From the Heart. Oh yeah, she blogs, too. Amid all that she's agreed to answer our questionnaire and on Part 3 of our profile, she shares a recipe.

Here's the first part.

What are six words to describe your food?

Contemporary Mediterranean , Creative, Simple, Well-prepared, Wholesome and Delicious!

What are ten words to describe you?

Focused, Ambitious, Curious, Generous, Loyal, Passionate, Kind to people, Creative, Positive, Happy.

Your best recent food find:

An amazing cheese shop in Silver Lake, with the best crusty baguettes.

Most undervalued ingredient:

Seasoned Salt---It is the secret ingredient in many foods.

Rules of conduct in your kitchens:

No profanity, being respectful of one another, No screaming or yelling. Very calm kitchen.

One food you detest:

Any type of innards (tripe, intestines, liver, kidney etc.)

One food you can't live without:

Feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:

Ethnic restaurants and the best seafood as well.

What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?

Do I need to answer that? Okay here we go, Tommy's Burgers!! Every few years. I love them, messy and delicious.

Best culinary tip for the home cook.

The best way to peel a fresh ginger is with the back of a spoon, just scrape off the skin. Also take your time when you are cooking, the food will taste better. Cook from your heart.

After-work hangout:

Home-- too tired to hang out after work, I love the time I spend at home.

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Audrey Hepburn. What a fantastic discussion that would be, to talk about her great movies, her humanitarian work that she has done worldwide and her sense of fashion and style. What great conversation!!!

Favorite celebrity chef.

Lydia Bastianich and Alice Waters.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:

Too many of them to mention.

What's next for you?

Another cookbook which is coming out in October of this year and more restaurants.

Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:

Having been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York. And had the privilege of cooking alongside my friend and mentor Julia Child.


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