Chef Zachary Geerson, originally from Fort Myers, FL has made his way through the culinary scene rather rapidly. After being promoted from a dish washing position to sous chef in just two and half years, Geerson left Florida to pursue a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. After taking on a ‘Manager in Training’ position and gaining experience at a restaurant on campus, he decided it was time to broaden his knowledge, and he made his way down to sunny Southern California.
Geerson started his Southern California culinary career at Tempo Urban Kitchen in Brea, CA, and became the Executive Chef in less than 2 months. During his time running the show at Tempo, the restaurant garnered many wonderful reviews. In November 2015 Geerson decided it was time to move on and work on a bigger “passion-project.” He was then enlisted as the Executive Chef of the Hotel Fullerton. In just four months, Geerson was promoted to Food & Beverage Director for all restaurant operations. His first move was to change the existing restaurant into what is now Citizen Kitchen. These days, Geerson handles everything from the food, the cocktail/beverage menu, restaurant aesthetics, communication with the entire staff, and more. He is a man of many talents, giving the title Executive Chef a whole new definition.
Since his transition to Citizen Kitchen, Geerson has been enlisted complete creative control with the menu, and the cuisine is innovative and unique. He’s serving plates such as Confit Salmon on “everything bagel” lavash with truffle cream cheese, pickled onions, and fried capers, as well as Sweet Corn Bread with house-made brown butter ice cream and pumpkin seed praline. “Ultimately, I try not to cook anything I don’t believe in.” With the seasonal style of the restaurant certain dishes are subject to change, so get them while you can!
Geerson foresees a trend in the culinary scene that focuses on simple artistry. He believes the avante garde phase in food is over, and that people don’t want to wonder what’s on their plate anymore. With plans on centralizing his next seasonal menu on this idea, he aims for each ingredient to be less tampered with, seasoned minimally, and to speak for itself.
Chef Geerson describes Citizen Kitchen as “A comfortable place for locals or the citizens to come in a get a great meal as if they were hanging out with me in my kitchen.” Be sure to give your compliments to the chef when you stop in to Citizen Kitchen.
Nicholas Moulinos, born in New Jersey, but raised in Corfu, Greece for 15 years, started his culinary adventure in 2009 when he decided to join a culinary school, while still in Greece. Being heavily influenced by his family’s cooking, most notably his grandparents, and culture, he went on to work in some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in the country, and gained experience by moving up through the ranks. In 2011 he then decided it was time to move back to The States, more specifically Hyde Park, NY, in order to attend The Culinary Institute of America (this is where he met Chef Geerson and they became close friends) and expand his knowledge and gain a degree in culinary arts.
This move was quite difficult, but well worth it when he was able to land a job in one of acclaimed Chef’s Daniel Boulud, restaurants, Boulud Sud in New York City. He remained there for a year and a half, working under Executive Chef Travis Swikard, and a very solid team. It was there where he continued to hone his craft and skills in Mediterranean cuisine. After Boulud Sud, he got a job at world renowned Chef, Eric Ripert’s, Le Bernardin. There he worked under Chef Chris Muller for another year and a half, rotating through the restaurants’ stations and wine bar (Aldo Sohm), before planning his next move.
After few months of discussing and planning with Chef Geerson, Nick moved to California in March 2016.The idea of working with his best friend was his motivation for the move. Here they started a journey (hint hint) that was in the making since their CIA days. ‘’Since I moved to California, and started working alongside Chef, I have no doubt that people will love our food and the things we have planned. It is truly an honor being here!’’ says now Sous Chef Nicholas Moulinos.
Natalia Corvini, born and raised in California, fell in love with the hospitality industry at a young age. Her journey began unknowingly after traveling with her family on vacations. She found herself enthralled by the different service styles and genuine hospitality of various hotels and restaurants. In 2012, Natalia was accepted into the hospitality program at the Collins College at California Polytechnic University of Pomona. Over the next three years she would work on balancing school, life, and work. Starting as a cashier at Pei Wei Asian Diner in Brea, CA., and working her way up to a supervisor of an entire store. In 2014 Natalia was also chosen as a step-in supervisor for two other struggling stores for two months. She was the only one selected for this responsibility out of supervisors from twelve other locations. This would inevitably give Natalia a glimpse into her future in the hospitality industry.
While still at Pei Wei and taking her regularly scheduled classes, Natalia got a job learning full service restaurant style service at Tempo Urban Kitchen in Brea, CA. Here is where she met Chef Zach Geerson. After seeing her commitment to the industry, when Chef Geerson left Tempo to work on Citizen Kitchen and soon to be restaurant Journeyman’s Food & Drink, he took Natalia with him as a Front of House Supervisor. After a few months at Citizen Kitchen, Natalia left Pei Wei and Tempo and took a Sauté Cook position at the new Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern. This decision was led by her goal to learn both all aspects of restaurant operations completely. Natalia did all of this while still maintaining her grades and finishing the last of the requirements needed for her hospitality degree.