Get to know me better
Grateful, blessed and passionate about cooking, teaching and hospitality.
A professional chef with 35 years of experience, number one rated on Thumbtack and YELP for personal chefs. Worked for Martha Stewart as a food stylist and menu planner. Was an art edu. major from UNC and known for my food presentation, customized baskets and décor design.
Was the first woman to take Lexington style BBQ (Zacki's PBQ) to the streets of NYC. (Fifth Ave. and 59th st.) Opened Zacki's PBQ restaurant in 1994.
Have an event planner background and worked for Ark Restaurants, Inc in NYC. Hospitality has always been an important part of my life. This began as a mini hostess (age 6) for my parents; Dr. Bob and Kitty Murphy in our historical home, "Seven Hearths" in Hillsborough, NC.
Now in Durham, NC, am a personal chef who "Cooks In Your Nook," travels to your home and teaches a participation adventure or, just cook for you. Prefer small groups where it's more personal.. Having traveled for many years in my former Ford model days, learned many other cuisines...Now, for 10 years, An "Ancient Mediterranean Meal; Food from the Time of Jesus," has become a lecture and catering for churches and schools. Even had the pleasure of filming a lesson with the Bishop Michael Curry ( before the Royal Wedding) where he even offered to wash the dishes...All of these experiences have brought me as much joy as it has been to share it!
For me, cooking is...
A blessing; a gift. I love to share, teach what has been a lifetime of learning or, assist you by setting the ambiance & creating a delicious memory
I learned to cook at...
I attended the Epicurean Cooking School in LA, but learned mostly from Jonathan Waxman at Ma Cuisine Cooking School.
A role model in the kitchen is...
Chef Jonathan Waxman who was an inspiring mentor.
A cooking secret...
Using a spice/herbal mixture that I make called: "Ancient Mediterranean Seasoning." It has 12 biblical spices as well as sea salt.
As a Private Chef, I can offer you:
Simply tell me what you're craving! I would love to create the perfect menu for your special occasion in Durham.
I can do weddings, birthdays and corporate events in Durham. You name it!
Because "sharing is caring". I would be happy to teach you all sorts of techniques and recipes in Durham.
Trust me as a culinary consultant to help you with your concept in Durham.
Zacki's Food Gallery
We all eat with our eyes first! Below you can find a little demonstration of what I can bring to your table.
Chef Zacki's reviews
Chef Zacki made my wife's birth one to remember. From a detailed conversation about the menu options to helpful notes on how to make the evening special, Zacki was a wonderful help leading up to the event.
Early in the process, I mentioned to Zacki that my 8 year old son would be present for the event, but would be eating beforehand (since his palette is more inclined to chicken nuggets and burgers at his age). Zacki offered to engage him in the cooking process on the night of the event, but what followed defied even my highest hopes! My son was enthralled by the entire process and Zacki had him joyfully helping to serve and prepare the dinner.
The meal was French cuisine and was no less phenomenal. It was such a pleasure to have Zacki and her team in our home. Thank you!
Justin Pierce - Aug 16 2022
The chef and her two assistants were professional and engaging. The food was served on the plates and well arranged. The four courses were spaced out so there was plenty of time to appreciate each one and allowed for good dinner conversation. Each course was very good and complemented each other. The overall experience was excellent.
Kevin Cox - Aug 12 2022
Chef Zacki made this experience wonderful for my wife and I! The food was impeccable, the service excellent and overall it was a great experience. Highly recommended!!
Benjamin Perkins - Feb 14 2022
Zacki was great.
I had to make a lot of last minute changes which she accommodated.
She did a spin on shrimp and grits which were absolutely amazing!! And the caprese salad was so fresh and flavorful!!
Also, if you get the charcuterie, ask for extra deviled eggs!! It was so good!!
Jonathan Kearney - Sep 22 2021
Book your experience with Chef Zacki
Specify the details of your requests and the chef will send you a custom menu just for you.