David Ziff chef / owner
David Ziff studied with Marcella Hazan, Diana Kennedy, Lydie Marshall and Virginia Lee, followed by intensive training at La Varenne in Paris.
Alan Bell partner
Alan met David at Syracuse University in 1964. They were involved in a few ventures, including selling cosmetics from their dormitory as well as selling Cutco knives during the riots in New York City in 1968. This has been their most successful venture to date.
DAVID ZIFF COOKING INC. was established in 1978 and, to date, has catered over 11,500 parties. We cater a wide range of events, including cocktail parties, buffets and seated dinners, for just about any occasion or number of guests.
We have an eclectic mix of private, corporate and non-profit clients. Our menu, also eclectic, includes Asian, Indian, Northern Italian, French, Mexican, Caribbean and American (including Southwestern and Cajun) cuisines. Our clients consistently praise us for our easy-going nature, our efficiency and our service. They rave about our food!
We have received the highest rating of any caterer in the Zagat NYC Marketplace Survey.
David enters NYU Law SchoolDavid passes bar examDavid takes his first cooking course (and finally puts down his law books)Alan secretly places ad in NYTimes for “David’s Dinners”Party #1: David caters first partyAlan enters Columbia Business SchoolDavid’s Dinners becomes David Ziff Cooking Inc. and gets a rave review in New York MagazineParty #681: DZC’s first Big Apple Circus GalaParty #806 & Performance #3389: “A Chorus Line” becomes Broadway’s longest running musical, and DZC’s biggest bash to dateParty #1564: New York City Ballet GalaParty #2056: Fall Antiques Show – Tribute to Ralph LaurenParty #5000: DZC begins third decade with a celebration to thank clients and friendsParty #7000: DZC turns 25Party #7628: New York City Ballet Nutcracker Family BenefitTenth annual Publicolor BenefitParty #8676: Central Park Conservancy Halloween BallParty #9000: New York Times Neediest CasesParty #9134: Citizens Committee for Children benefit for 1,000 guests at the MoMAWedding bells ring for David and AlanParty #10,000: Valentine’s Day
Excerpt from Alan’s interview in New York Magazine’s New York Weddings, Spring 2005:
Tips: How Not to Drive Your Caterer, and Yourself, Crazy
Caterers can suffer the brunt of a couples’ wedding frustrations. You want a million tastings, but can’t narrow down your choices. Money is tight, but your heart is set on a full-course, sit-down meal. Alan Bell, partner in David Ziff Cooking, offers these tips on how to get the best out of your caterer.
Come with an idea of what you’re looking for. Don’t start by saying, “It’s up to you,” only to complain later that your wishes weren’t met.
There are many factors that affect caterers, and sometimes a couple has to compromise because of price and/or location. Get over it, your wedding will be fantastic.
It’s a menu, not a magic wand. If you’re on a strict budget, a caterer can help you cut some corners, but if you want the meal of your dreams, you’ll have to sacrifice in other places. Order folding chairs instead of ballroom chairs; bring your own alcohol; forget about hand-blown glasses. There are ways to keep costs down, but don’t hope for the impossible.