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Meet Zaytinya's Concept Chef

Concept Chef Michael Costa

As the Concept Chef of Zaytinya, together with Chef José Andrés, Chef Costa offers an innovative mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines served up in a sleek and modern setting. Chef Costa oversees the Washington, D.C., New York and South Beach locations. Previously, he held the Head Chef position at Zaytinya in Washington, D.C. Throughout his time at Zaytinya, Chef Costa has cultivated and deepened relationships with local farmers and producers like Anson Mills and Jamison Lamb. Since Chef Costa’s start, the restaurant has earned two three-star reviews from the Washington Post, was named #9 restaurant in DC by The Washingtonian, and was awarded a Bib Gourmand in the first Michelin Guide. Building on Chef Costa and José’s deep knowledge of Mediterranean cooking and years of research and travel, the menu features shared small plates of authentic and innovative fare, creative cocktails, and unique Mediterranean wines, making Zaytinya one of the most exciting restaurants in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Prior to his career with José Andrés Group, Chef Costa attended culinary school in Dallas and studied under the school’s founder, Costas Katsigris, a Greek native and a mentor who inspired Chef Costa’s love for Greek and Mediterranean flavors. Next, he worked for Chef Kent Rathbun at Abacus in Dallas. From Dallas, Costa moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a Private Dining Chef at Citronelle under award-winning chef Michel Richard before moving to the Michelin-starred restaurant, Michel Rostang, in Paris to work as Chef de Partie. Once back in the U.S., Michael took an executive chef position at Pazo in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was nominated for "Chef of the Year" by the Maryland Restaurant Association in 2010.