Published on September 5th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Chef George Duran On Working With Jarlsberg, Cheeseburgers, Upcoming Projects & More
George Duran is a polylingual chef, comedian and host. He is the author of Take This Dish & Twist It, known for his Food Network show Ham On The Street and host of TLC’s The Ultimate Cake Off!. With such a diverse background, when it came time for college, New York City seemed the obvious
choice. So Duran left his beloved Caracas behind to attend New York University, where he majored in Mass Media and Communications Studies. There, he commenced a career in radio and TV, culminating with a 1996 award for “Best Radio Talk Show” at the National Association of College Broadcasters.
Duran is currently working with Jarlsberg Cheese, which is wildly-popular among foodies around the world for its nutty, mild, mellow and sweet flavor. This summer, Jarlsberg launched the second annual Global Burger Awareness campaign starring two of summers favorites: burgers and cheese. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef George Duran about this and more, as shown below, while more on both Duran and Jarlsberg can be found online by visiting www.jarlsberg.com.
When did you first become aware of Jarlsberg?
Chef George Duran: I feel like Jarlsberg has always been part of my life. When I first came to this country my parents would buy Jarlsberg as a special treat to serve on cheese boards. Today I use it for everything from burgers to quesadillas!
How did the opportunity to work with Jarlsberg first come up?
Chef George Duran: I did a media tour many years ago and Jarlsberg wanted to participate. I knew the moment they came on set I wanted to be part of something big with them. Right away we clicked and I’ve now been their spokesperson for 3 years. Looking forward to 10 more years! I work with Jarslberg developing recipes and acting as the chef as special events. You can find some of my recipes at www.jarlsberg.com.
Has working with Jarlsberg led you to finding the perfect cheeseburger?
Chef George Duran: Absolutely! One of my signature burgers has a cube of cheese stuffed in it. However the other cheeses were always melting and oozing out of the burger too quickly after they were cooked. Jarlsberg offers the perfect meltability and a great flavor paring to my cheese stuffed burgers! In fact right now we have a global burger awareness campaign with my burgers you can check out. Nothing melts better than Jarlsberg on burgers — since it has a mild, mellow and nutty flavor and great meltability.
Jarlsberg aside, what are you currently working on?
Chef George Duran: Currently I’m working on segments for Good Morning America and I have a few pilot projects in the works. Exciting things are coming!
Is there a career accomplishment you are proudest of?
Chef George Duran: I think my biggest accomplishment was graduating a French culinary school in Paris and then hosting my own cooking show on the French Food Network all in French. Merci beaucoup!
When not busy with food or work, where does your free time usually go?
Chef George Duran: We’ve been going to baseball games and practicing at batting cages recently as my 8-year-old is now a split Yankees and Red Sox fan — if you can believe it!
What was the last concert you attended?
Chef George Duran: Radiohead at Madison Square Garden. However, I’m a jazz fanatic and because I live in Harlem, I’m able to experience some fantastic jazz improv in my neighborhood.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Chef George Duran: Hey kids! Get your hands dirty in your kitchen! That’s right, it’s ok if the batter spills or the sauce drips. It’s all about being comfortable with ingredients and tools. Once you understand how your favorite foods are made, your passion for food will come naturally! Bon Appetit! And please go online and see what we have happening at www.jarlsberg.com.