Rising Star Chef David Barzelay of Lazy Bear - Biography

San Francisco , CA

May 2016

It wasn’t until after he enrolled at Georgetown Law and began hosting dinner parties for his classmates that David Barzelay realized his passion lay in the kitchen—not the law library. After graduating, Barzelay moved across the country. In 2009, on the heels of a series of layoffs at his law practice, Barzelay hit the cookbooks as hard as he’d hit the law books. He also began staging around San Francisco’s top restaurants, including Commonwealth and Nopa. Later that year, he took on his first paid position cooking one day a week at Mission Street Food. Barzelay even traveled back across the country to stage for Sean Brock (with whom he connected over social media) in his quest to amass technical prowess and taste everything he could.  

The skills and inspiration he accumulated fueled Barzelay’s increasingly elaborate dinner parties. The gatherings moved to a warehouse that accommodated feasts for 40 guests. Propelled by Barzelay’s creative vision, format-busting Lazy Bear opened in the Mission in 2014, serving two seatings of 40 ticketed guests per night. Evenings begin in the loft with cocktails and snacks, before guests descend to two large communal tables. Chefs at Lazy Bear are at once hosts, cooks, servers, and bussers— and Barzelay leads an army of them. In 2015, Lazy Bear received a Michelin Star, was named one of Bon Appetit’s “Top 50 Restaurants,” and in 2016 Barzelay was named a Food & Wine “Best New Chef.”