Geoffrey Zakarian's taste, style and passion for fine cuisine have defined his storied career as an accomplished chef that has presided over some of the country's top kitchens. In a never ending quest to deliver paramount hospitality experiences, Zakarian travels the world for new inspiration to marry with his classical training and techniques.
David is currently a partner in Cafe Clover, The Skylark, JIMMY at the James and of course, The Lambs Club, having been in the restaurant and nightlife industry for over 20 years. David was a partner in the nightclub and restaurant Lotus, which in many ways pioneered (along with Pastis) the development of The Meatpacking District. He co-founded The Double Seven in the same neighborhood, and was an original owner of Union Bar, which he and his partners sold in 2004. They also developed Vbar in Las Vegas and Manhattan Express (the first “Western” supper club in Moscow). David began his career at Rex, a small club and restaurant that in many ways was a predecessor to Lotus.
David entered the hospitality field after several years as an attorney, having attended Columbia Law School and Tufts University. He served as President of the NY Nightlife Association for 9 years (now NYCHA) and was the Founder and President (6 years) of the Meatpacking District Initiative (now MPIA). He now serves on the executive board of The Times Square Alliance, and recently resigned from the board of NY Cares after 20 years of service.
As President of Zakarian Hospitality LLC, Margaret Zakarian has played an integral part in building the Zakarian brand. After graduating from New York University, her first foray into the world of restaurants was with the group that created Republic, Indochine, Bond St., Thom Bar, and A60 at the 60 Thompson Hotel. From there she became the Director of Marketing for Lotus, the famed restaurant and nightclub that started it all in the Meatpacking District. While at Lotus, Margaret played an integral role in launching the Meatpacking District Initiative and was a key force behind the marketing concept for The Double Seven, a high-end cocktail bar also located in Meatpacking.
In 2005, Margaret married Geoffrey Zakarian, and together they introduced the critically-acclaimed restaurant Country, earning 3 Stars from The New York Times and a Michelin Star. From there, they went on to open The Lambs Club and The National in New York in 2010 and Miami’s Tudor House in 2011. Most recently, they launched three fine dining seafood concepts, Ocean Blue, The Raw Bar and Ocean Blue on the Waterfront onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest luxury vessels, the Breakaway and Getaway. Together, they also crafted the food and beverage program at The Water Club at The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and took over the food and beverage operations at The Plaza Hotel, including a complete renovation of the iconic Palm Court in 2014. In June of 2016, Margaret and Geoffrey opened two concepts, Georgie and The Garden Bar, within Montage Beverly Hills.
Margaret’s eye for detail and design, combined with Geoffrey’s classical culinary technique, lends their company, Zakarian Hospitality, its unique advantage when it comes to restaurants. In design builds, Margaret works with laser focus to tie the entire guest experience together from graphic design, restaurant layout, tabletop items, staff flow and, most importantly, outward messaging of the brand through strategic partnerships, interesting purveyors and sometimes even the collaboration of fashion and costume designers to create unique looks for the team. Geoffrey and Margaret often remind each other “It’s 20% about the food and 80% about everything else.” Margaret’s marketing savvy and ability to keep her “finger on the pulse” of the restaurant world’s rapidly-evolving trends has allowed their brand to remain relevant yet classic. "It is crucial that we retain integrity and authenticity as we grow," says Margaret. "The customer experience is always at the forefront of what we are planning and doing."
Today, Margaret lives in New York and sits on the board of the Young President’s Organization (YPO Metro). She is also a member of City Harvest’s Food Council.
Executive Pastry chef
Jin Capobianco, from Seoul, Korea, rose to the prominent role of The Lambs Club’s Executive Pastry Chef in Winter 2015. Just like The Lambs Club’s Chef & Partner, Geoffrey Zakarian, Capobianco is a fellow alumnus of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park.
Capobianco moved to New York City in the Spring of 2012 and acquired a job as Pastry Sous Chef at Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club, soon after. She worked under the guidance and mentorship of former Executive Pastry Chef Björn Böttcher where she worked to fine tune and develop her skills in Modern American fine dining with distinct ingredients.
At The Lambs Club, Jin Capobianco’s personal approach to pastry is to utilize familiar flavor profiles in unfamiliar vehicles. Most significantly, she cultivates inspiration from the restaurant’s literal surroundings and neighbors in Manhattan. “Many people come to the theater district and The Lambs Club and expect traditional American cuisine,” she says, “I want to give them the feel of American, but modernized with some unfamiliar techniques and flavors. Like Broadway, pastry is very visual, so I feel that a plate should not only taste good, but also be a work of art in itself.”
A.J. Ojeda-Pons oversees the continuously growing, award-winning wine program for Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurants. A.J. can often be found in the dining room, providing his expert recommendations and enthusiastically serving guests. His passion for his craft is contagious to diners, fellow colleagues and wine enthusiasts alike. Continuously educating himself and seeking out unique selections, A.J. brings a wealth of knowledge and style to all he serves.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, and surrounded by parents who loved exploring wines and fine dining, A.J. took a strong interest in the industry at a young age. A.J. currently holds the Advanced Sommelier title from the Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is an avid member of the Guild of Sommeliers, participating in many tastings and seminars throughout the year. When he is not at the restaurant, A.J. is traveling to wine regions throughout the world, extending and advancing his knowledge of the craft.
A.J. has curated wine lists in some of the best restaurants in New York, Connecticut and Los Angeles, and recently earned The Lambs Club the prestigious Two Glass award from Wine Spectator Magazine, as well as Three Stars on the World’s Best Wine List from esteemed publication, The World of Fine Wine.