About zen culinary
OWNER/CHEF RACHEL MCAULEY
Rachel McAuley grew up in Thailand and her passion for cooking came from the restaurants that her family owned and operated throughout her childhood. At Zen Culinary Rachel uses her intimate knowledge of Thai cuisine, plus dishes that she has always enjoyed preparing for guests at her own home, to create an imaginative and exciting dining experience at her first restaurant. Each day, Rachel ensures that diners are comfortable and happy for a fun and relaxing culinary adventure, as if they were enjoying a meal in her dining room at home. McAuley is excited to bring you into her new “home” and experience American Asian fusion cuisine in Arizona.
CHEF DANIEL CHONG
A native of South Korea, Daniel Chong was born to a Korean father and a Japanese mother, so his passion for cooking grew out of this unique cross-cultural childhood. After immigrating with his family to the United States, Daniel literally grew up in the restaurant industry, working at his mother’s small “mama-san type” Japanese restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware before moving to New York City to learn under master sushi chefs such as Chie Shirahata (NOBU London). Later, Daniel launched his own fine Japanese-French restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, before being lured to Scottsdale to help launch Zen Culinary. Working alongside Zen Culinary’s chef/owner, Rachel McAuley, Daniel is excited to produce wonderful plates of passion that will bring New York City to many hearts of Arizonans.
GENERAL MANAGER, CRISTINA SERRANO
Cristina Serrano has an extensive corporate background in multi-billion dollar and publicly traded corporations. She has managed global teams and has an MBA and a PhD(c) in Business Psychology. She loves world travel and has visited five continents. Most recently, Cristina had the pleasure of traveling through Dubai, London, Philippines and Korea. She is passionate about culture, food and entertaining guests. As an analyst, researcher, and world traveler, she brings a valuable skillset to the Zen team.