Chef Galen Zamarra
As Executive Chef at Manhattan’s midtown gem, The Lambs Club at The Chatwal Hotel, Chef Galen Zamarra unites a passion for the highest quality product with a reverence for his craft. Closely collaborating with world-renowned chef & restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian, he has reimagined the new Modern American menu at the restaurant. Galen enthusiastically states “Today, I am excited to bring all of my experience to a culmination with this incredible partnership with Chef Zakarian at The Lambs Club. The excitement and energy of this restaurant has fueled a new creative vision for my cooking.”
Zamarra envisions the culture of America as a patchwork of various influences, which can be found in the skills and ingredients employed in the kitchen at The Lambs Club. Zakarian explains “Galen’s world understanding about the techniques driving food today combined with his classical French training speaks to his sophistication and his adept culinary talents. I’m honored to work alongside him daily at my flagship restaurant.”
Zamarra was born in Switzerland and raised in California. “Cooking has always been a part of my life, and there was never any question that I wanted to work in restaurants.” While in high school, Zamarra 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 school, he embraced all facets of the restaurant industry beyond savory cooking, including management, design, pastry, and baking.
Upon graduating, Zamarra moved to New York City to work for acclaimed Chef David Bouley. After working with Chef Bouley for two years, Zamarra left the United States to work in Europe under some of the most decorated chefs in France. For almost two extraordinary years, he worked under Michelin 3-Starred chefs Georges Blanc, Michel Bras and Alain Passard.
Zamarra returned to the United States with a newfound sense of discipline and resumed his employment 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 of that kitchen including the café, bakery and the 4-Star fine dining restaurant. In 2001 the James Beard Foundation awarded Zamarra with Rising Star Chef of the Year for his efforts.
Zamarra opened Mas (farmhouse) to immediate acclaim in April 2004. Esquire named Mas (farmhouse) as “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. Zamarra was awarded Rising Star Chef of the Year from StarChefs in 2006. 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 2014, at which point Zamarra re-launched the restaurant as Almanac, a micro-seasonal fine dining establishment based on his culinary journals. Zamarra 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.
In 2006 Slow Food named Mr. Zamarra a Chef Delegate at the Terra Madre World Congress in Torino, Italy. In 2007, Slow Food awarded Mas (farmhouse) with a snail of approval for its social consciousness. In addition to his press accolades, 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. Zamarra has also published articles for Gastronomica and Edible Manhattan.