Bazirgan built quite a bit of buzz for himself on the West Coast, where he helmed kitchens at San Francisco’s Fifth Floor and Dirty Habit, so much in fact, he was named one of Eater’s “Hottest Chefs in America” when his Fifth Floor menu was placed on diner’s definite to-do list. Baz’s story begins on the East Coast, where he began washing dishes at the age of thirteen in his hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Here a career in the kitchen would ultimately become his calling, but first he studied French cooking techniques at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston.
After graduating, Bazirgan worked with a number of renowned Boston restaurants and chefs, including Stan Frankenthaler’s Salamander and Todd English’s Olives and chef Barbara Lynch.
Taking note of Bazirgan’s drive, Lynch offered him his first job out of culinary school, as garde manger, at Boston’s prestigious Galleria Italiana. Prior to his move out to San Francisco in 2003, Bazirgan would also serve as chef de cuisine at Lynch’s flagship No. 9 Park, where he helped craft the first of their multicourse tasting menus as well as a pasta sampler of up to 5 pastas on one dish. Working with Barbara Lynch helped him gain an appreciation for sourcing and using seasonal ingredients along with the pleasures of making fresh pasta
After his tenure under Lynch, Bazirgan sought change and headed to the Pacific Coast to take on a new role in the City by the Bay. Before leading the kitchen at Fifth Floor, which earned three and a half stars from The San Francisco Chronicle, Bazirgan was executive chef at Chez Papa Resto at Mint Plaza, and at Jocelyn Bulow’s Baraka in Potrero Hill (where he earned a 2005 “StarChefs San Francisco Rising Star Award.”) He also worked at Elisabeth Daniel in Jackson Square. Fifth Floor was replaced by Dirty Habit in 2014, where Bazirgan excelled in offering progressive small-plates, a welcome change from the constrictions of tasting menus in a slightly more relaxed—but food-serious—context.
Missing his New England home, Bazirgan returned to the East Coast in the summer of 2016 to take on the role of executive chef at the Cambridge, Massachusetts restaurant, Bambara Kitchen & Bar in the Kimpton Marlowe hotel. He has since reinvented Bambara, culling influences from his Armenian heritage, Mediterranean-influenced bistro fare and a bold bicoastal sensibility that makes the menus feel more eclectic and energized than ever, so said one local food critic. Upon his return the Boston Globe could not stop raving about his menu and burger specifically: “Order it. It will be among the best you’ve ever eaten. The butter-toasted bun, the harissa aioli, the crisp lettuce, the thick-cut fries, the aromatic dry-aged beef. Every shred of it has been deliberated over. The fanatic in the kitchen worked months on this. Like so much at Bambara, it’s just right. And a secret far too good to keep.”