Executive Chef Galina Bovtun brings over 30 years of culinary experience to Mari Vanna LA. For Chef Bovtun, the theme of Mari Vanna - a fairytale grandmother of Slavic lore - began at home in Russia.
The Moscow native - who has cooked for the dignitaries such as President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nzarbayev - picked up her first cooking lessons from her own grandmother, a woman she describes as the "original Mari Vanna."
Her early memories of picking wild berries for homemade preserves and sitting atop the kitchen table to roll out dough for traditional dishes like pelmeni and vareniki provided indelible, and she entered culinary school at age 18.
Upon graduation, Chef Bovtun turned down a prestigious opportunity to cook for government officials and dignitaries at the Kremlin, opting instead to try her hand at Moscow's booming restaurant scene. Her career took off under the guidance of famed Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov and acclaimed Chef Ulliam Lamberti as the Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Galereya.
Prior to joining Mari Vanna LA, she served as a chef at a variety of restaurants throughout Moscow, including renowned eateries like the Gallery Cafe and the Grand-Opera.