Jeffrey Saad (www.jeffreysaad.com) is a rising star ready to ignite the globe with his inspirational cuisine. Host of the hit Cooking Channel series United Tastes of America, Jeffrey is a skilled chef who has created and contributed to many successful restaurants, including San Francisco’s Sweet Heat, Pasta Pomodoro and his current group of restaurants, The Grove. His insatiable appetite for ingredients and flavors and encyclopedic knowledge of spices allows him to create “food without borders.” Teaching home cooks to cook locally and eat globally is his passion, and his first cookbook Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders (Ballantine, March 2012) takes the reader on a culinary trip around the world—no passport required!
From Burger Flipper to Cooking Kingpin
At the tender age of 13, Jeffrey started his career working in a diner behind his junior high school. Amazed as he saw raw ingredients become delicious entrees, he realized he had the “hospitality gene” and never looked back. The Chicago native enrolled in the Hotel Restaurant Management Program at Iowa State, earning his first official title as chef de cuisine in his sophomore year. Enamored with food, he continued his training at the Culinary Institute of America and the California Culinary Academy with a master plan to open his own place upon graduation. In 1993, Jeffrey traveled to Mexico, determined to cook his way across the country for inspiration. Finding the flavorful yet casual cuisine a natural fit, he opened the Mexican-influenced Sweet Heat in San Francisco’s Marina District, a runaway success that led to two more restaurants and his own signature line of bottled chutneys.
The Next Culinary TV Star
Expanding his culinary empire as a partner in Pasta Pomodoro Italian Restaurants, Jeffrey helped to open the first 12 locations of the California-based chain before moving to Los Angeles. While running a real estate company with his wife, Nadia, he continued to explore international flavors on his downtime, embracing dishes from China, France, Spain, Italy and Nadia’s native Iran. A fortuitous suggestion to audition for the Next Food Network Star led to a new career in front of the camera and the title of the fifth season’s “First Runner Up.” The network saw his potential and gave him a web series, Spice Smuggler, which ran online for a year. As comfortable with a microphone as he is with a knife, Jeffrey was a natural fit for the host of the Cooking Channel’s United Tastes of America, currently in its third hit season.
Cooking Without Borders
As he tasted the world, Jeffrey wanted to bring his love of travel, people and the food of each country to the home cook. The result is Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders, 10 chapters of unique, easy-to-prepare dishes (and the spices and flavors that define them) that serve as a diary of his international adventures. Each of these 100 mouthwatering recipes showcase Jeffrey’s flavorful melting pot, from his signature Scallop Tacos with Green Chile Chutney and Chipotle Sour Cream to an Italian-inspired Gorgonzola Pear Grilled Cheese, French White Pepper Cassoulet, Middle Eastern Harissa and Asian Spicy Beef Pad Thai. Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders will inspire its readers to explore the globe without leaving their own kitchen. To learn more about the book in Jeffrey’s own words, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK0_ZvDIIT0.
The Spice of Life
When not filming his show, serving in his role as Egg Council Spokesman or working as Partner/Executive Chef of San Francisco’s classic American restaurant The Grove, Jeffrey continues to indulge his “culinary ADD,” planning tasting trips to Thailand, India, Morocco and Turkey. Using his travels and experience in the kitchen, Jeffrey developed his own collection of spice blends, which are currently available for sale on his website (www.jeffreysaad.com/store). As an “endless student” of the kitchen he continues to inspire and make a difference, connecting with everyone he meets through the international language of food. As he explains “I want food to be the beginning of a great life, not just the beginning of a great meal.” Residing in Los Angeles with his wife and two children, this engaged family man also enjoys surfing, Tae Kwon Do & mountain biking.