Ziebold began working in restaurants during his teenage years after school at Café Maude’s with mentor chef Matt Nichols, where he learned to cook in a calm and nurturing environment. Ziebold spent more time though in the restaurant than in class in college at the University of Northern Iowa and decided to switch to the Culinary Institute of America. After spending some time at Spago and Vidalia, Ziebold joined Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in 1996 where he stayed until shortly after Keller opened Per Se in New York in 2004.
CityZen and Sou'Wester
Upon leaving Per Se in 2004, Ziebold returned to Washington D.C. and opened the critically acclaimed CityZen, which serves Modern American cuisine. Ziebold was named one of the "10 most influential chefs working in America" by Forbes.com in 2007 alongside Dan Barber, Tom Colicchio and Grant Achatz.
In 2009, Ziebold revamped CityZen's sister-restaurant, MoZU in the Mandarin Oriental. He changed the style from Asian-themed to regional American and made it more affordable. The restaurant was then opened in September 2009 under the name Sou'Wester. Eric is no longer Executive chef of Sou'Wester, but maintains his place as Executive chef of Cityzen.
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, James Beard Foundation, 2008
Chef of the Year, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, 2008
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