Chef Aaron Bludorn Taps Fellow Café Boulud Alum to Helm Navy Blue

The Bludorn team announced today that star-powered chef Jerrod Zifchak will be the executive chef of upcoming seafood restaurant Navy Blue.

By Daniel Renfrow September 26, 2022

Chef Jerrod Zifchak is a New York-reared chef who has worked at acclaimed restaurants such as Café Boulud and Le Bernardin.

One of Houston’s most anticipated upcoming restaurants is Navy Blue, a Rice Village-located seafood concept from the team behind celebrated New American, French-inspired mainstay Bludorn, slated to debut this November. While details surrounding the much-buzzed-about Navy Blue have been thin since its initial announcement last fall, we were all served an entree-size portion of delicious Houston food news today through the announcement that chef Aaron Bludorn has tapped fellow Café Boulud alum Jerrod Zifchak to helm the kitchen of Navy Blue as executive chef. 

Bludorn and Zifchak, who first met at a food festival in 2015, had overlapping tenures at the now-shuttered Upper Eastside mainstay Café Boulud, where they collaborated under the watchful eye of world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Zifchak notably assumed the executive chef position at the restaurant back in 2019 (at least until the pandemic hit) after Bludorn announced that he was relocating to Houston to open his eponymous restaurant.  

Born in Chicago but raised in New York, Zifchak began his training at the Culinary Institute of America before quickly finding his footing through a position at Éric Ripert’s Michelin 3-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin. Zifchak subsequently found a position at Café Boulud, where he quickly climbed the ranks. Now, Zifchak will be following the same migration path that Bludorn also took to reach the Bayou City.

“I am beyond thrilled to join Aaron in Houston and embark on my next exciting chapter as a chef,” said Zifchak in a release. “Navy Blue is a concept where I can utilize my skills, precision and genuine love for seafood and once again work alongside Aaron on an exciting menu that builds upon the wildly successful track record that Aaron and Cherif have worked so hard to achieve.”

Zifak will have quite a lot of room at Navy Blue in which to explore his love for seafood. The 7,100-square-foot restaurant, which will be taking over the former digs of Politan Row, will be inspired by all things oceanic and will explore the interactions between humans and the sea by utilizing an array of cooking techniques that will showcase all of the playful, fun, and accessible ways in which seafood can be prepared. The restaurant will sport a sommelier-led global wine list in addition to an exciting cocktail program that will feature modern spins on classic cocktails. Like sister restaurant Bludorn, service at Navy Blue will be overseen by general manager and partner Cherif Mbjodi, who, like both Bludorn and Zifchak, is also an alum of Café Boulud. 


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