Bio: From his very beginnings as a teenage dishwasher in his hometown of Newburyport, MA, David Bazirgan showed promise. His culinary star started shining when, at age 20, he enrolled at Cambridge School of the Culinary Arts in Boston. There, as Bazirgan quickly picked up French technique, his path transformed: He was still using elbow grease, but it was to skillfully combine flavors that, years ahead, would garner him three-star reviews.
At culinary school, Bazirgan's pastry instructor connected him with Chef Barbara Lynch, winner of "Top 10 Best New Chefs" in Boston Magazine. Lynch noticed his talent and drive, plucked him from the ranks, and gave him his first job out of school at the prestigious Galleria Italiana, where she then worked. Their mentorship and friendship bloomed, even as Bazirgan moved on to be a line cook with Chef Todd English at Olives Restaurant in Charlestown.
Bazirgan boomeranged back to Lynch in 1998, when she opened No. 9 Park in Boston's historic Beacon Hill. As chef de cuisine, he helped her win the James Beard Award in 2003 for "Best Chef Northeast." Naturally, he was catapulted to the title of Chef de Cuisine and, over several years, launched meticulously crafted seven- to nine-course seasonal tasting menus.
It was time for Bazirgan to explore new horizons, namely the warmer coast of San Francisco. In the fall of 2003, the ambitious chef worked at Elisabeth Daniel at Jackson Square before being drawn by restaurateur Jocelyn Bulow at his acclaimed Baraka in Potrero Hill.
At Baraka, Bazirgan successfully married his French sensibilities to the restaurant's Moroccan and Spanish flavors. He was named one of the Top 5 "Rising Star Chefs" by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005 and received a three-star rating from the publication. Adding to his rapidly growing list of accolades, StarChefs.com also named him a "Rising Star."
In 2008, Bazirgan migrated to Chez Papa Resto at Mint Plaza. As Executive Chef, he developed distinguished Provençal menus and was again awarded three stars by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In his latest starring role as Executive Chef at Fifth Floor Restaurant, Bazirgan will finesse New American cuisine with a Mediterranean influence, further lifting the downtown destination to thrilling yet approachable heights.