HOMETOWN: Beirut, Lebanon
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Lake Worth, Fla.
OCCUPATION/PROFESSION: Private Chef
LAST SEASON: Winner, “Top Chef Middle East & North Africa,” Season 5: Saudi Arabia
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Charbel Hayek fell in love with cooking at a young age while spending time in the kitchen with his mother. He studied culinary at the French School of Excellence. He soon traveled to Los Angeles with his family and honed his skills working at Mélisse under two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin for nearly three years. After moving back to Beirut, he competed and won the fifth season of “Top Chef Middle East & North Africa.” Since then, Charbel strives to continue expanding his knowledge and skills in the kitchen. He calls his cuisine “New American” with French and Lebanese influence and is always ready to take risks with his dishes. He currently resides in Lake Worth, Fla., where he works as a private chef. In his spare time, he’s a fitness enthusiast, enjoys spending quality time with his family and is working on a book that will be published later this year.