Zach is the “Rooster in Charge”, and head culinary chef here at Happy Chicken Bakery. The youngest of 6 siblings, Zach’s passion for cooking began when he was very young. He was often found in the kitchen helping his parents prepare the family meals. It was here, he learned the fundamentals of traditional Italian cooking from his mother, and love of grilling and Asian cuisine from his father.
In 2009, while still in high school, he began his formal culinary education. Attending CAT-North he studied various cooking techniques and learned the elements of competition style dishes. He also
attained his first job during this time; starting out as a dish washer, he progressed to bussing tables, found his way
to the back of the house to assist in food preparation and eventually become a line cook for Lista’s Southwest Grill.
Upon completion of high school, with his love for cooking undiminished, he enrolled in Anne Arundel Community College’s HCAT program to further his culinary education. He graduated with honors in May of 2015, with degrees in both the Baking and Pastry, and Culinary Arts. Although by his own admission, prefers to leave the baking to the “Head Hen”. During his time at AACC he made his way to Italy’s Amalfi coast, where he interned at the famous 5* Michelin rated restaurant Next2, under the watchful eye of Chef Renzo Avanzo. He began his internship like so many students, assisting with prep work, however that did not last long. Chef Renzo, after evaluating his abilities, elevated him to the status of cook and plating, a nod to Zach’s performance and dedication to his craft.
Zach’s commitment to his craft and desire to produce the best food possible, continues to fuel his passion as he joined the Happy Chicken team full time in May of 2019.
In the summer of 2015, he was also part of the 3 person team representing My Thai, Baltimore in the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament. The second youngest member of the team, at the ripe old age of 21, he was the mastermind behind many of the appetizers and entrees which helped propel the team to their eventual championship win.
Zach has had the pleasure of working under many chefs during his time in the culinary world. Thus far, each experience has added to his toolbag of skills and techniques, from perfecting the art of wok cooking with his two year position at My Thai, to learning the ins and outs of “small plate cooking” at Note Kitchen & Bar in Bethel, CT, to his former position as Chef de Cuisine at the very popular Bond Street Social in Baltimore's Fells Point, where he worked to perfect the art of “sous vide” cooking from Executive Chef Marc Dixon.
Some fun facts about him:
~ Favorite Hobbies: watching movies, listening to music, being with family,
trying new foods
~ Favorite Food: manicotti
~ Favorite Dessert: black forest cake
~ Favorite Drink: hefeweizen, but water is good
~ He's now married to our very own Head Hen! Chef Martha!
Thanks for taking the time to read! We hope you stop in and see us soon!