Celebrity Chef Speaker CJ Jacobson (also known as Chris Jacobson) is a television personality, celebrity chef, and restaurant owner. At 6’8”, the Californian chef is a former volleyball player turned professional chef who has held such jobs as personal chef to celebrity journalist Arianna Huffington, working for Wolfgang Puck Catering, and traveling the country with the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.
Celebrity Chef Speaker CJ Jacobson’s television career began in 2007 when he appeared on season 3 of Bravo’s award winning cooking competition series, Top Chef. CJ beat nine contestants, making it to the final six before being voted off by celebrity chef judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen, and guest judges Anthony Bourdain and Jimmy Canora. A testicular cancer survivor, Chef CJ did not let the elimination bring down his confidence. Jacobson took another stab at competing in 2012 on season 10 of Top Chef where former contestants were brought in to compete against some of the best chefs in the country. Judges for this season included celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson, and Iron Chef Wolfgang Puck.
Following his second try at Top Chef, CJ Jacobson focused his full attention on his next culinary goal, opening his own restaurant. In July of 2013, Chef CJ opened Girasol Restaurant in Studio City, California. Taking his cooking experience from his time working at Los Angeles’ famous restaurant, Mercantile, and his apprenticeship at Noma, an award winning Denmark restaurant, Jacobson was more than prepared to debut his California cuisine at the restaurant opening for his celebrity diners, including William Shatner.