2020 New York Rising Star Chef Jay Wolman of LaLou

2020 New York Rising Star Chef Jay Wolman of LaLou
November 2020

581 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238


Born in Houston and raised in Miami with a family from South Africa and London, Jay Wolman was the exception in a family of picky eaters. By the time he moved to New York at 21, he knew he liked to cook but was apprehensive about entering such a competitive restaurant industry without formal culinary training. So he read books, watched Jamie Oliver (among other cooking shows), and got a job at Cheeky Sandwiches on Orchard Street: his own personal culinary school. He then met chef, farmer and Rising Stars alum Chris Fischer, who encouraged Wolman to cook with him in Martha’s Vineyard. While there, Fischer introduced him to Restaurateur Andrew Tarlow, who hired Wolman as an oyster-shucker. Wolman spent the next four years between Tarlow’s Williamsburg restaurants, Marlow & Sons and Diner, and worked his way up to garde manger, to junior sous, to sous. 

In 2016, Wolman followed his colleague, Chef Nick Perkins, to his newly opened Bedford-Stuyvesant restaurant, Harts, before spending time at Southern Italian restaurant King. Wolman returned to the Tarlow empire to Roman’s and Reynard, where he served as executive sous chef. Hungry for a kitchen of his own, Wolman joined Fausto owner and Rising Stars alum Joe Campanale at his natural wine bar, LaLou. There, Wolman builds a menu of market-driven, seasonal, precise plates, such as a crisp kohlrabi caesar and a hearty, cured Boston mackerel with pancetta and salsa verde.