The Family That Cooks Together

85 Zakarian Family Recipes from Our Table to Yours


By Anna Zakarian

By Madeline Zakarian

Foreword by James Patterson

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 6, 2020. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The Zakarian sisters present the #1 national bestselling and definitive cooking guide for kids and parents who want to create joy in the kitchen and at the table!

Madeline and Anna, daughters of Geoffrey Zakarian, use their experience growing up with a professional chef for a dad to bring some of their favorite recipes to the world. You don’t have to be a foodie to love good food, and you definitely don’t need to be an adult to make a great meal.

Join the Zakarian sisters as they introduce you and your family to 85 delicious dishes, drinks, and snacks for cooks of all abilities. Along with easy-to-follow instructions, Madeline and Anna share their tricks of the trade on a variety of tasty recipes, from savory breakfasts to sweet desserts—and all their go-to items in between. Mouthwatering photographs of every recipe show you how each dish will turn out in this fun cookbook for the whole family!


THE ZAKARIAN FAMILY, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: George, Madeline, Geoffrey, Anna, and Margaret

Madeline, You crack me up.


Anna, I love your laugh.



The Family That Cooks Together came about after the first time I met Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.

When I learned that cooking was a family affair for him and his daughters, Anna and Madeline, I just couldn’t get the idea of a Zakarian family cookbook out of my head. Over the course of publishing this book, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the Zakarian family and discovering all the incredible ways food brings them together. It was inspiring to see parents and children cooking alongside one another, and to learn that the Zakarians’ tradition dates back generations.

Cooking was a big part of my life growing up as well. Back then, everything was very hands-on and traditional. I still remember my mother sending me to get the fruit she kept in the root cellar after stone fruit season. It’s such a funny thing to kids nowadays, the idea of a root cellar, but that’s how we did things. My sisters and I spent hours in the kitchen with our mother, making recipes that had been passed down through the generations. The house was always filled with delicious smells. I look back fondly on those memories—there’s nothing like home cooking, and there’s especially nothing like home cooking when you help make it yourself.

I know that The Family That Cooks Together will create many happy memories for countless families. From Game Day Pork Chili to Cast Iron Grilled Cheese to Breakfast Fried Rice, the absolutely delicious recipes in this book are destined to become family favorites that you return to again and again. After all, nothing brings a family together like a meal everyone loves—and who would know better than a foodie family like the Zakarians? I’m thrilled that I could help such a wonderfully talented family bring these tried and tested recipes from their table to yours.

Bon appétit!

—James Patterson

Ratatouille HERE


As the daughters of a professional chef, our lives have involved food in so many special ways.

From the moment we each came home from the hospital, we’ve been hearing a symphony of kitchen sounds in the background of our every day—pots clanking, ice crunching, blender whirring, liquids boiling, shells cracking, and the constant whoosh of the refrigerator door. This playlist has been the soundtrack of our lives, building up our love for food. We’ve spent countless hours watching our parents prepare meals at home and run exciting restaurants at work, which has allowed us to sample so many different dishes. With all the listening, watching, and tasting, we unknowingly received a different kind of education.

Even in our youth, we’ve realized that food is so much more than it seems. As avid eaters, amateur cooks, and lovers of hospitality, we’ve seen firsthand the joy that gathering around a table brings. Along our way, we’ve collected special memories from delicious meals and are excited to share them with you.

This book is for home cooks of all ages, and we wrote it with an important piece of advice in mind: Cook for others, not yourself. The chance to be a great chef isn’t about you, but rather other people. You can train yourself to be skilled in the kitchen, but your cooking will taste much better with friends or family there to enjoy it. Remembering this in your culinary adventures can keep you happy and humble, and will encourage you to continue. We have learned that spending time together through food has kept our family close, and we think you will find the same.

We wish you many days of happy cooking ahead, and remember to have fun making noise in the kitchen!

—Madeline & Anna


Here’s a secret, just between us: You don’t need any fancy kitchen tools to cook delicious meals. You could make almost anything with the following: a sheet pan, a large sauté pan, a saucepan, a 9-inch chef knife, a paring knife, a wooden spoon, a whisk, a spatula, and a good-sized cutting board. You probably have all this already!

But there are a few fun bells and whistles that can make you feel like a pro in the kitchen. Here are our absolute favorites:

FINE-MESH STRAINER A pro tool for sure, a fine-mesh strainer is much more useful than a regular strainer. The closely knit metal catches all the tiny bits of food in its basket and allows only pure liquid to pass. Your finished dish will have a smooth taste without any unpleasant bits. If you don’t have one, no worries! You can use cheesecloth to strain instead.

FISH SPATULA This is one of our favorite tools, though we surprisingly rarely use it for fish. The extended and oblong shape of the spatula gives you more control when you need to lift or flip a variety of items.

FOOD PROCESSOR The time that a food processor saves is worth the investment in one. Essentially, it is a bowl fitted with a sharp blade powered by a motor. The blade chops or minces foods without pushing too much air inside the food, the way a blender would, so you cannot always substitute a blender for a food processor. We recommend buying a simple sturdy one powered by a strong motor and steering clear of the models with too many extras as it can get quickly overcomplicated.

FORCEPS The most “cheffy” thing on the list! Kitchen forceps are giant metal tweezers used to place garnishes and pieces of food in just the right spot. You can also use them to move delicate things when cooking. So fun to use!

HAND JUICER If you only need a small amount of juice, using this clamp-like tool is much easier and quicker than an electric juicer. Helpful tip: Never buy pre-packaged citrus juice. It’s healthier to freshly squeeze a lemon or lime yourself.

IMMERSION BLENDER This is a handheld stick that you put into a container or pot to blend the ingredients. It’s safer than transferring hot liquid to a blender, like in soup recipes. Some models even come with a potato masher or a whisk attachment, so you can whip or process in the same bowl you started with. Less dishes to wash are always a plus!

INTERNET We consider this essential, because when we don’t understand something in a recipe, we can easily go online to figure it out by searching images or watching recipe preparation videos. Also, if we cannot find an ingredient in the store, we simply order it online.

MANDOLINE This thin slicer gives you speed and consistency in your cuts, which are two cornerstones of traditional French cooking. However, it can be very dangerous, so make sure to get a safe-slice version to protect your fingers.

MEAT THERMOMETER Our dad says this is the most important thing to have when cooking meat. With this tool, you won’t have to guess how “done” a piece of meat is.

MICROPLANE ZESTERS/GRATERS This brand works extremely well, and their zesting/grating tools can be used to finely grate citrus skins, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks… the list goes on and on. Just be careful not to scrape your hand or finger on the sharp part.

MUDDLER Handy for crushing and mashing small foods, we use muddlers to do everything from smashing avocado to crunching up whole almonds. For making drinks, it helps to release the oil in herbs like mint.

OFFSET SPATULA (SMALL) This tool makes frosting super easy, but we also grab it when we need a small tool to spread or lift food.

OVEN THERMOMETER Making sure your oven is the right temperature is a pro move. You might be surprised at the difference between the temperature you set your oven to and what the thermometer tells you when you manually place it inside.

PASTRY BRUSH Having a food-specific brush lets you coat things in oils or melted butter with more precision than drizzling—and with less mess than using your hands.

PIPING BAG Pastry bags are a fun item to have for piping whipped cream or decorating a cake. Some bags come with fancy tips for super-decorative garnishes and toppings. If you’re in a pinch, you can use a zip-top bag instead of a piping bag: Fill the bag, cut off a bottom corner, and you’re ready to squeeze.

RAMEKINS These cute, multipurpose containers are one of our essential picks for cooking and serving. They’re great for baking individual portions or for serving snacks and dips.

SPIDER In cooking, a spider is a long, spoon-like tool, with a metal strainer on one end and a flat wooden stick for the handle. It allows you to strain and move pasta or small vegetables, like peas, out of boiling water without having to carry a large, scalding pot to the sink. It’s also useful when you need to carefully place ingredients into already boiling water. Safety first!

SPURTLE Fun to say and handy to use, this Scottish tool is a hybrid of a spoon and a spatula. The curved shape gives you the holding power of a spoon, but with the length and flatness similar to a spatula. It can reach all corners of your pot in one easy swoosh.


Here are some tips that will make your food more delicious, guaranteed. Trust us, we learned them from an Iron Chef!

1 When shopping for ingredients, read the labels. Manufacturers often sneak in weird things you wouldn’t expect.

2 Place one damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep the board from slipping or moving around.

3 Use sea salt or kosher salt for cooking. We like the brand Baleine. Their salt labeled “fine” for general seasoning and cooking is our go-to. Save the large flake salt for finishing only.

4 You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make good food, but there are a few ingredients where higher quality makes a difference. Splurge on high-end vanilla extract, vinegars, and dark chocolate.

5 Buy spices in small quantities and replace them in your pantry every year. As spices age, the oils evaporate, making them less flavorful. The fresher, the better!

6 Make sure your pan heats to the right temperature before adding ingredients.

7 When boiling water to cook pasta, add salt to the water so it’s as salty as the sea. This raises the boiling point, which helps the noodles cook faster and flavors the pasta as it absorbs the salted water when cooking.

8 Always salt and pepper raw beef, pork, poultry, and fish on all sides before cooking.

9 Before cutting beef, pork, and poultry after it’s cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes. To keep the meat warm in the meantime, you can make a loose tinfoil tent over it.

10 Be sure to taste food as you go and season accordingly. You don’t want to serve something without having tasted it, so remember to adjust the seasoning along the way.

11 When baking, use room-temperature eggs. Useful tip: Place the eggs in a bowl of warm water to speed up the warming process.

12 The freezer is your friend! When you have spare time, cook or bake your favorite meals and snacks, then freeze until you’re ready to use.

13 Don’t stress out over not having the right tools or electrics. You can always improvise when in the kitchen to find something that works, including mixing, whisking, or chopping by hand.


Makes 12 muffins

Everyone wants that one blueberry muffin with loads of crumble on top, so we decided to share a recipe that would guarantee crumbs for all! We amped up the traditional take even more by including lemon zest in the batter, giving the muffin some brightness.


6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 cups fresh blueberries, plus additional for topping


Microplane zester

12-cup muffin pan

Cupcake liners or nonstick cooking spray

1 Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.

2 To make the crumb topping: In a small mixing bowl with a fork, toss together the melted butter, flour, sugar, and salt until crumbly. Set aside.

3 To make the muffins: In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

4 Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then carefully fold with a spatula until the flour mixture is almost incorporated. Add the blueberries and fold until the fruit is evenly distributed and a few streaks of flour remain. It is important not to overwork the batter; a few lumps are okay.

5 Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Top each muffin with an additional 5 or 6 blueberries and then sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve once the muffins are cool enough to handle, or pack them for an on-the-go breakfast.

In the summer, buy as many wild blueberries as you can and freeze them in sandwich bags to use later. Wild summer blueberries have a smaller size that are well-suited for muffins. Plus, they have a delicious taste that’s a nice treat during the winter months.

Flourless Banana Muffins HERE

Blueberry Crumb Muffins HERE


Makes 12 muffins

These muffins are so irresistible that they’re sure to be snatched up as soon as the pan lands on the counter. They most definitely exist in “sweet treat” land, but no worries, because they’re guilt-free with no flour or granulated sugar. Choose a dark chocolate chip with zero milk, and each bite will be both dairy-free and gluten-free.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 very ripe large bananas, mashed

2 large eggs, lightly whisked

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup natural organic almond butter

½ cup mini dark chocolate chips

Sliced almonds, for topping, optional


12-cup muffin pan

Cupcake liners or nonstick cooking spray

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally spray the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.

2 In a small bowl, gently whisk the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the bananas and eggs, then in the following order add the honey, vanilla extract, and almond butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold in the chocolate chips.

3 Distribute the batter equally (about ¼ cup per muffin) among the muffin cups and top each with almond slices, if you like. Bake for 15 minutes and test for doneness. The muffins should spring back when lightly pressed. If not done, bake a few minutes longer, but watch closely, as they can quickly dry out. Once out of the oven, remove each muffin from the pan and let cool before storing or eating.

If you do not have ripe bananas, you can place the bananas on a sheet pan and bake in a 300°F oven for about 15 minutes. Let them cool before using.


Serves 4

If your family is all on different wake-up schedules and can’t sit down together for breakfast, these tartines do the trick. They can sit without “dying,” like other egg dishes might, making them a great choice if you’re hosting brunch. The savory tapenade brings a refreshing contrast to hardboiled eggs, and pairs perfectly with the crunch of an English muffin and arugula. Feel free to use store-bought tapenade to save time. Cuckoo!


4 large eggs


½ cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata, pitted

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 small garlic clove, chopped

1 anchovy fillet, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


4 English muffins, split and toasted

1 cup baby arugula

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, for sprinkling

1 lemon, cut into wedges


Mini food processor (or chop by hand)

Hard-boiled egg slicer, optional

1 To make the hard-boiled eggs: Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Carefully lower the eggs into the pot and cook for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then crack and peel under cold running water. Rinse and remove any remaining bits of shell.

2 To make the tapenade: In a mini food processor, combine the olives, capers, parsley, garlic, and anchovy. Pulse to make a chunky paste. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil to make an almost smooth paste. (You may chop and mix by hand if a mini is not available.) Scrape the tapenade into a bowl and set aside.

3 To assemble and finish: Place the toasted English muffins on four plates. Spread each half with about 1 tablespoon tapenade. In a small bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, then divide among the tartines. Cut each hard-boiled egg into six slices using a slicer or by hand. Lay three slices of egg on each English muffin half. Sprinkle the tartines with salt and serve with a lemon wedge. Refrigerate any remaining tapenade for next time.

Cuckoo Egg & Olive Tartines HERE

Amped Avocado Toast HERE


On Sale
Oct 6, 2020
Page Count
192 pages

Anna Zakarian

About the Author

Anna and Madeline Zakarian, daughters of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, have appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, guest edited Food Network Magazine, cooked on Food Network's hit show The Kitchen and regularly on GMA. When not cooking at home or in one of their parents' restaurants, they attend school in New York City and work with City Harvest to help feed those in need.

Anna, as described by Madeline in ten words:
Caring, Sweet, Loud, Smart, Crazy, Loving, Enthusiastic, Musical, Sporty, Artistic

Madeline, as described by Anna in ten words: 
Stylish, Smart, Mature, Funny, Musical, Artistic, Dramatic, Organized, Loving, Amazing

Learn more about this author

Madeline Zakarian

About the Author

Anna and Madeline Zakarian, daughters of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, have appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, guest edited Food Network Magazine, cooked on Food Network's hit show The Kitchen and regularly on GMA. When not cooking at home or in one of their parents' restaurants, they attend school in New York City and work with City Harvest to help feed those in need.

Anna, as described by Madeline in ten words:
Caring, Sweet, Loud, Smart, Crazy, Loving, Enthusiastic, Musical, Sporty, Artistic

Madeline, as described by Anna in ten words: 
Stylish, Smart, Mature, Funny, Musical, Artistic, Dramatic, Organized, Loving, Amazing

Learn more about this author