January 13, 1975|
New York University|
École Supérieure de Cuisine Française (ESCF) - Ferrandi
George Duran (born George Kevork Guldalian on January 13, 1975) is a Venezuelan born American chef and entertainer who is currently a spokesman in commercials for Hunt's tomatoes. He also became host of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off in its second season.
Duran was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to parents of Armenian descent originating from Lebanon. They later immigrated to the United States where they became naturalized American. Duran attended New York University, majoring in Communications Studies. It was there where he began to pursue his interests of television and radio production. Hosting the HYE Time radio show on WNYU, he won an award for Best Radio Talk Show at the National Association of College Broadcasters in 1996.
Duran continued in radio, working as an on-air personality for comedy segments at WPLJ in New York. There, he interacted with everyday people on the street, asking questions, doing stunts and cracking jokes. He moved on to WABC radio in 1999 where he produced and performed more comedy sketches.
In 2000, Duran moved into television, working in production on the popular MTV show House of Style. From there he moved to the Latin music television station HTV where he hosted shows such as the Top 21 Videos of 2001 and Pachanga! in Miami.
2002 proved to be an important year for Duran. He decided to move to Paris and pursue his other interest – food. Duran attended culinary school at the École Supérieure de Cuisine Française (ESCF) - Ferrandi (English: Higher School of French Cuisine, Ferrandi Group). While there, he hosted a successful TV show, Pop Cuisine, on France’s culinary network Cuisine TV which was nominated for a 7 d’Or (French Emmy)-–Best Cable Show award and won a 2003 Silver Grape Gastronomic Award. He also wrote culinary pieces for the French edition of FHM magazine.
Duran published his first cookbook, Take This Dish and Twist It, in the fall of 2008.
Duran is part of cookware company IMUSA's Chef Program, participating with the brand by creating exclusive recipes, webisodes, instructional videos and demos. His Hispanic roots are expressed with featured recipes such as "Pumpkin Pie Tamales" and Chorizo Lentil Stew.
In August 2011, Duran was employed by the Ketchum public relations firm in order to promote processed food products from ConAgra, hosting guests which included food bloggers at fictitious West Village Restaurant Sotto Terra, without informing them of the nature of the meal until after the fact.