JEFFREY SAAD

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Jeffrey Saad started his career at the age of 13, working in a diner behind his junior high school. He was amazed at how raw ingredients became delicious entrees, and having the "hospitality gene," he never looked back, earning the chef de cuisine title in his sophomore year at Iowa State, where he was enrolled in the Hotel Restaurant Mangement program. Enamored of food, he continued his training at the Culinary Institute of America and California Culinary Academy with a master plan to open his own place upon graduation. In 1993, he traveled to Mexico, cooking his way across the country for inspiration, and opening the Mexican-influenced "Sweet Heat" in San Francisco's Marina District, which was a runaway success leading to two mor restaurants and his own signature line of bottled chutneys.
 
As a partner in Pasta Pomodoro Italian restaurants, Jeffrey helped to open the first 12 locations of the California-based chain before moving to Los Angeles. While running a real estate company with his wife, Nadia, he continued to explore international flavors in his downtime, with dishes from China, France, Spain, Italy, and Nadia's native Iran. A fortuitous suggestion from a friend led him to audition for the Next Food Network Star on Food Network , and he was ended the season as first runner up. The network saw potential, giving him a web series, "Spice Smuggler," then on Cooking Channel cable, "United Tastes of America," for four seasons. The busy Jeffrey hosts a new online service called MGO, "Dinner and a Download," pairing meals with movies, and will be on a PBS episode called "A Moveable Feast" with Pete Evans in September, plus other ventures. 
 
Jeff's website: http://www.jeffreysaad.com/
Twitter: @JeffreySaad

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