Chef Galen Zamarra
Galen Zamarra was born in Switzerland and raised in California. “Cooking has always been a part of my life, there was never any question that I wanted to work in restaurants.” While in high school, Galen attended culinary classes at the local community college, and worked nights in restaurants. At age 18, he moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America, and graduated with honors. At chef school, he was taught all facets of the restaurant industry, including culinary, management, design, pastry, and baking.
Upon graduating, Galen moved to New York City to work for acclaimed Chef David Bouley. After working with Chef Bouley for two years, Mr. Zamarra left the United States to work in Europe under some of the most decorated chefs in France: Michelin 3-Starred chefs Georges Blanc, Michel Bras and Alain Passard. Mr. Zamarra returned to the United States with a new-found sense of discipline and resumed his employ with Chef Bouley, rapidly rising through the ranks, and becoming chef de cuisine of Bouley Bakery at age 24. In that position, he managed all aspects in the kitchen including the 4-Star fine dining restaurant, café and bakery. In 2001 the James Beard Foundation awarded Galen with Rising Star Chef of the Year for his efforts.
Mas (farmhouse) opened in April 2004 to immediate acclaim. Esquire Magazine named Mas “one of the best new restaurants in the U.S.” New York Magazine called Mas “one of the 100 best reasons to love New York City.” In another article, New York Magazine hailed Chef Zamarra as “the next Jean-Georges” while also proclaiming Mas (farmhouse) “one of the best new restaurants in New York City.” The New York Times followed with a two star review, writing that “Mas is the kind of earnest, tasteful restaurant that this city -- that any city -- can always use.” In addition, Time Out New York awarded Mas (farmhouse) an “Award of Excellence” and, along with Citysearch, recognized Mas (farmhouse) as the best late night dining establishment in New York City in 2006. Mr. Zamarra was awarded Rising Star Chef of the Year from Star Chefs in 2006. Recently, the Zagat Survey awarded Mas with a food score of 28, tied for highest in the city. Building off his success at Mas (farmhouse), Chef Zamarra expanded his culinary endeavors to open a second restaurant, Mas (la grillade) “the Grill” in French, whose primary cooking source and overall concept is a wood burning grill. La Grillade was open from 2011 through 2104, at which point Chef Zamarra relaunched the restaurant as Almanac, a micro-seasonal fine dining establishment based on his culinary journals. Galen has served as a chef consultant for Exki, a Belgium based healthy-minded, fast, causal restaurant chain and currently consults for the Sound View Inn in Greenport, NY.
Chef Galen has created lasting relationships with foragers, farmers, growers and fishermen who cultivate ingredients from surrounding land and water. This allows Galen to source the highest quality ingredients while being always mindful of the environment. In 2006 Slow Food named Mr. Zamarra a Chef Delegate at the Terra Madre World Congress in Torino, Italy. In 2007, Slow Foods awarded Mas (farmhouse) with a snail of approval for its social consciousness. In addition to all of his press accolade, Mr. Zamarra starred in the Discovery Channel’s television series “Go Ahead, Make My Dinner,” Food Network’s Chopped and has hosted numerous educational forums nationally. Chef Zamarra has also published articles for Gastronomica and Edible Manhattan