SYLA, an acronym for “See You Later Alligator,” was started by husband and wife team, Zach and Olivia Geerson, Zach is a Florida Native and Olivia is originally from California (Met in 2014 and Married in 2017). Zach started his career in the culinary industry in 2009 as a dishwasher in a fine dining restaurant in his home town, Fort Myers, Fl. Working his way up from dishwasher to sous chef, with the blessing of his first chef mentor, Harold Balink, decided to pursue a deeper understanding of the culinary industry and decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After graduation Zach stayed on as a MIT (Manager In Training) for a year to help run the Italian Restaurant, Caterina d’Medici. From there Zach went on to work for Gianni Scappin at Cucina, in Woodstock, NY. Leaving NY for California, Zach made his way to Orange County, California, where he has since made an indelible mark on the dining scene with his award winning restaurant Journeyman’s Food + Drink with his Partner and Friend, Charles Yang. In April 2019, Zach, through an ironic turn of events had taken a dive into his home states cuisine and culture and, ever the story teller, Zach figured he’d found the subject of obsession that would go on to define what he’s been working towards through his incredible career.
Olivia Geerson, has always had a fascination with kitchens and cooking. At a young age Olivia was in restaurants because her family owned one. Olivia developed an interest in baking through helping her aunt with some of the baked goods for the restaurant. Fast forward to 2016 when Olivia started making cakes at a local bakery in Costa Mesa, CA. From there Olivia has done stints as a baker in great places like Rose Cafe in Venice, CA and the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna-Nigel, CA. Olivia is the second piece of the puzzle for Zach. Olivia is the “Yin” to Zach’s “Yang.”