2017’s Taste of Waldorf Astoria winner on how Hans Zimmer and a glass of pinot noir are the perfect recipe for relaxation

Chef Micheal Zachman

Chef Michael Zachman’s taste for adventure has taken him to all corners of the globe and his culinary quests to find the world’s best ingredients are always reflected in every dish he creates.

Here, Zachman reflects on the sights and sounds that have impressed on him the most during his travels, and shares the perfect recipe for a relaxing night in.

What’s the best way to explore a new destination?
You have to first ask yourself what exactly are you looking for? I always plan a new destination around culture, cuisine and history.

It’s dinnertime at your favorite restaurant. Where are we and what should we order?
We are in Hawaii at ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge sitting at an open-air table overlooking the ocean while the sun is about to set over the water. You have to try the tableside poke, as well the simply prepared Hawaiian fish. A wonderful ambiance paired with a unique Hawaiian cuisine.

What do you do to completely unwind?
I turn on music by Hans Zimmer, have a glass of pinot noir, and prepare a fantastic dinner for my family. This is relaxing to me as I have no pressure, no time constraints, and I am doing something that I have a true passion for. I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

Where can we find the most breathtaking view in the world?
Standing on the highest point of the Great Wall of China. The best way to experience such an amazing view is to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing and take a day trip there. You feel so far away from all the hustle and bustle of Beijing.

Which museum stands out the most in your mind?
The British Museum is such an established museum that has so many diverse artifacts from around the world. The first time I stepped into the British Museum, it blew me away with all the history it has to offer. All the different Roman sculptures and Egyptian mummies will keep you coming back for more.

What has been your proudest moment?
Winning the 2017 Taste of Waldorf Astoria competition hands down is my proudest moment. When they called out Waldorf Astoria Park City as the winner I was in shock for a few minutes, and then quickly realized all the cameras were photographing us. It was such a satisfying feeling. All the hard work paid off.

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