A Look Back At Taste of Waldorf with Jean Georges Vongerichten and Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi and Jean Georges Vongerichten at Taste of Waldorf. 

Padma Lakshmi and Jean Georges Vongerichten at Taste of Waldorf, looking for the next best Waldorf Astoria chef.

Taste of Waldorf was an annual event where top chefs in Waldorf Astoria hotels and resorts compete to have their dish on all 26 properties. Unfortunately, the event no longer happens, but I wanted to take a look at the last one that took place (which I attended) to find the best Waldorf Astoria chef. I joined an intimate crowd with celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who determined this year’s winner.

Michael Zachman from Waldorf Astoria Park City killllled the competition. 

Michael Zachman from Waldorf Astoria Park City killllled the competition.

The winner turns out to be Michael Zachman (executive chef, Waldorf Astoria Park City) and Alex Bois (James Beard Rising Chef Semi-Finalist and Los Bread Co., Philadelphia) with their entrees Beet-Cured Steelhead Trout and Spicy Togarashi Prawn (respectively), both of which will now be offered at all 26 Waldorf Astoria property bar menus.

If you’re going to be the next big Waldorf Astoria chef, you may as well look cool. Check out the sunglasses at Bloomingdales, which take your style to the next level.

This is amazing because they will join classic and timeless dishes created at Waldorf Astoria, like The Waldorf Salad, Eggs Benedict and Red Velvet Cake, unarguably distinguished menu items.

The winners of Taste of Waldorf!

The winners of Taste of Waldorf!

I had lunch with Michael earlier that day, and it turns out he is from my hometown (Roswell/Marietta, Georgia). Go Michael, great Waldorf Astoria chef!

This story was originally published July 16, 2017.

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed at over 600 hotels and clocked millions of air miles. He currently lives in New York City.

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