Two-time Chopped Champion winner, and host of Snapchat’s first-ever cooking Show, Chopped U, and Food Network Digital's Comfort Nation, Lazarus Lynch is a Black Gay Artist, Intellectual, Activist, and the face of the brand, Son of a Southern Chef. New York City born and raised, Lazarus stepped into the kitchen at an early age under the tutelage of his father, Johnny Ray Lynch, a southern chef from Bessemer, Alabama. Together, they created a special bond in the kitchen that would soon launch into a successful media enterprise.
When Lazarus was ten, his parents opened Baby Sister's Soul Food, a popular fish and chips and soul food restaurant in Laurelton, Queens. Ray's fried fish sandwiches, and open-mic nights were big hits at the restaurant. Ray built a loyal fan-base and loved bringing smiles to customer's faces at the taste of his food.
Lazarus took after his father's passion for cooking and studied culinary arts at the Food and Finance High School in New York City. His high school blog, Keeping-it-Healthy, built him a following, gaining the attention of television networks like Food Network and the Cooking Channel. In his senior year of high school, Lazarus interned at the Food Network headquarters in New York City where he cooked in the test kitchens, and at the acclaimed James Beard House twice. He was also a recipe developer and recipe tester for the New York City Green Carts Cookbook, and Virgin Vegan: The Meatless Guide to Pleasing Your Palate cookbook.
Lazarus was a World Food Prize Borlaug~Ruan International Recipient in 2011 where he was selected to study food and agricultural sciences in Beijing, China for three months. He also studied theater and conflict resolution abroad in Kigali, Rwanda with the Anne Frank Project his freshman year of college. In 2013, Lazarus worked at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. directly for Secretary Tom Vilsack under the Obama Administration, and frequented the White House.
In 2014, Lazarus created Son of a Southern Chef, dedicated to his father's southern cooking, and building the next generation of soulful cooks in the world. His fun, charismatic, and down-to-earth approach to food and cooking connects him with thousands across the globe daily. In 2015, he was a co-host on the ABC Network digital series, Tastemade Get Cookin'. He was also a featured host on the Webby awarded mobile site and app, Tastemade, and appeared regularly on the Tastemade Snapchat Discover Channel.
Food Network host, Ingrid Hoffmann, named Lazarus "the next big food star." He is a two-time Chopped Champion winner, and has been a guest on several shows including the Emmy-nominated, The Kitchen, and The Kitchen Sink, The Today Show, Wendy Williams, and judges for Chopped Junior, and Beat Bobby Flay. He was also a season seven co-host on Cooking Channel's, Unique Sweets. He has appeared as a guest on several radio shows including NPR’s Science Friday, WPR's Food Friday, and Heritage Radio Network's Feast Yr Ears. He has an active YouTube channel with nearly 14,000 subscribers where he shares both original and sponsored content. He created popular series on YouTube including My College Kitchen, Laz's Comfort Kitchen, and Soul Food Talks. He has worked with a range of industry leading brands including Kelloggs, Hidden Valley, Wells Fargo, 4-H, AT&T, Honda and more.
Lazarus holds a Bachelors of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. He is a proud 4-H Luminary alum and served as a trustee on the National 4-H Council. He is a World Food Prize Ambassador and activists for food security, hunger awareness, LGBTQ+, healthy living, and speaks at universities and schools throughout the year to share his positive message with the next generation. He is the host of Comfort Nation on Food Network and released his first cookbook with the publisher, Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House in June 2019. He lives in New York City.
Photo by Anisha Sisodia 2019