Alumni Spotlight: Chef Shant Halajian
The Culinary Arts alum oversees two restaurants in The Glenmark Hotel in Glendale, California
“I used to come home from school, first grade or second grade, and for me, my mom’s cooking is the epitome of cooking,” says Chef Shant Halajian, ICE alum and now Executive Chef of The Glenmark Hotel in Glendale, California. “I would take the batches of food she would make...and transform them into a restaurant quality dish.”
Related Read: From French Laundry Externship to Executive Chef
An Aleppo, Syria native who would settle in the City of Angels at 10 years old, Chef Shant has spent much of his life in kitchens, chopping onions and washing dishes. When he reached his late teenage years, he took the bull by the horns and chased down his career in the industry. He enrolled in ICE’s Culinary Arts career program, and moved from working at local Carousel restaurant in Glendale to flying across the country to stage at Daniel Humm’s three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park before landing his externship at Thomas Keller’s famed The French Laundry in Yountville, California.
After graduation, Chef Shant returned home to Glendale and began working the line at the glitzy Glenmark boutique hotel. The Glenmark is home to two restaurants, Olia, a casual establishment doling out breakfast items and Italian cuisine for dinner on the ground floor, and MYA, a posh Japanese restaurant on the roof with 360˚ views — and Chef Shant oversees culinary direction for both.
Check out Chef Shant’s journey in the video below.