David Bazirgan of BARAKA (Now Closed)
Starting with his job as a dishwasher in Newburyport, MA, David Bazirgan has been involved in restaurants since he was 15 years old. He worked at most of the popular eateries in his hometown before venturing off San Diego at 19 in search of beautiful weather and occupational inspiration. After a year in Southern California, Bazirgan decided to move back home to Boston and pursue a formal education in culinary arts at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. He quickly rose through the ranks of his class and became one of the most promising students in his program.
Bazirgan’s never ending struggle for perfection so impressed his pastry instructor that he introduced him to Chef Barbara Lynch, then at Galleria Italiana. Bazirgan’s first job out of school was with Chef Lynch, who won Top 10 Best New Chefs in Boston Magazine. This experience at Galleria Italiana forged a lifelong friendship with Chef Lynch, who became his mentor and friend. Following a successful time at Galleria, Chef Bazirgan worked as a line cook with Chef Todd English at his acclaimed Olives Restaurant in Charlestown, MA. He was surrounded by Todd’s passion for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and learned the importance of speed and multiple flavor combinations while developing a good sense of business practice. Bazirgan’s formal education was rounded off by a short stint at Stan Frankenthaler’s Salamander, where Dave tried his hand at pan-Asian cuisine.
In 1998, Bazirgan reunited with Barbara Lynch at her much anticipated restaurant, No. 9 Park, in historic Beacon Hill, and helped Lynch win the prestigious James Beard Award in 2003 for “Best Chef Northeast.” He joined the team for its opening as Sous Chef, and after one year was promoted to Chef de Cuisine and held this title for his remaining time there. This experience proved to be the most influential in the development of Bazirgan’s culinary and professional style. He launched and perfected 7 to 9 course seasonal tasting menus that became a hallmark of No.9 Park.
After five successful years at No.9 Park, it was time for Bazirgan to move on and move west, to experience the excitement of the food industry in San Francisco, with its culture of restaurant-goers, incomparable produce, and unlimited job opportunities. In the fall of 2003 Dave tried his hand at the upscale restaurant Elisabeth Daniel at Jackson Square but was then drawn to an opportunity to work with restaurateur Jocelyn Bulow at acclaimed Baraka in Potrero Hill.
While remaining loyal to Baraka’s staple of Moroccan and Spanish flavors, Chef Bazirgan incorporates his French technique using the Bay area’s seasonal bounty of fresh ingredients. His goal is to raise the food of this 3-star restaurant to a more refined level while maintaining the affordable price point and catering to regulars of his hillside neighborhood. Bazirgan is also the chef at Chez Papa and La Suite, all three of which are owned by Jocelyn Bulow.