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Chef Jason Zukas, Owner of Tazzina

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens New York, Jason’s earliest food memories come from the smells coming from the kitchens of his Italian American family. They evoked in him a lifelong passion which he brings to every dish he prepares. While life did not bring him the opportunity to attend culinary school Jason was determined to bring his culinary dreams to fruition. He soaked up every book he could read and took advantage of his proximity to one of the culinary capitals of the world. Jason made some of the best restaurants in New York City his classroom. Because of this Jason possesses something he deems more valuable than any formal education could have provided, a practical experience cultivated from climbing the ladder in the kitchens of some of Manhattan’s most illustrious chefs. Jason learned his craft under notable chefs Tom Valenti at Ouest and John De Lucie at La Bottega. After a brief stint at Blue Water Grill, Jason felt it was time to continue his self taught education by working for Club Med and travelling through Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. After returning to New York Jason spent a summer at Andre Balazs’ Sunset Beach on Shelter Island before becoming Executive Chef of Charles in the West Village.

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Chef Jason Zukas, owner of Tazzina, with Food Network’s Ted Allen.

Jason was featured on the second season premiere of the Food Network’s hit show Chopped where he reigned supreme and took home the top prize. In September of 2010 he returned to the Food Network to compete in Chopped Champions. Jason won the semi-finals and earned second place in the final competition.

THE RESTAURANT

In January of 2011 Jason was thrilled to open his own restaurant in his native Queens. His first restaurant Tazzina, formerly located on 88th Street in Glendale, reflected the Old World culinary sensibility which initially inspired him with his Nouveau flair.

At his current location in Forest Hills, Jason infuses the flavors of his travels to inspire his natural Mediterranean style. As you sit in an intimate space surrounded by family pictures it is not hard to picture yourself as a guest in Jason’s home. Listen to an eclectic mix of standards, rock and soul, with a song for everybody. Slowly sip on a glass of wine or specialty cocktail from Tazzina’s inspired wine list or specialy cocktails menu created to enhance your meal and satisfy even the most discerning oenophile. Get ready to take a culinary journey, one that spans not only countries but generations. Jason’s menu which is always in transition satisfies his desire to experiment and create new dishes, as well as to satiate the ever-changing palate of his guests.