Jay Wolman

When I was quite little I spent all my time sitting in the kitchen, playing with pots and pans. I was fascinated by the salad spinner. I was my moms shadow every night she cooked dinner for the family.  I also had all these plastic foods and little toy ovens and stoves that I always was so excited about. I even dressed up as a French chef for Hallloween one year. So it all seems to make sense of how it worked out.


I started cooking when I was 21 at a New Orleans style Sandwich shop called Cheeky in the lower east side. I fell in love with the work and how people were freaking out over the food we were making there. From there I got into agriculture for a summer. I then spent many years coming up in the kitchens between Diner and Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn. Those restaurants really taught me about food and simplicity. I worked with some truly talented and special people. I've learnt something from all of them. 

I always liked cooking, but my parents are picky eaters. The idea of being a chef always scared me because I would have to taste everything and venture out of my comfort zone of the food I knew. That changed once I moved out.

One of my friends growing up was a chef from an early age, and being around him was really inspiring. He taught me a lot and introduced me to new foods I hadn't had. That was sorta the spark. 

I never knew for sure I wanted to be a chef when I was a kid, but I guess in retrospect all the signs were evident. I bounced between being a chef and veterinarian a lot, as I have a serious love for animals.