Team Bios

CHEF HOSS ZARÉ | The Heart, Chef, and Owner

Chef Hoss Zaré grew up on his family’s century old farms in Tabriz, Iran. In 1986, after completing mandatory service in the Iranian Air Force, he emigrated to SF where his older brother owned and operated the iconic Billboard Café. In 1989, while enrolled as a pre-med student at UC Davis, he would drive to and from The City to work as a line cook at the historic Fly Trap Restaurant. It was there that owner Walter Zolezzi and Chef Craig Thomas mentored Zaré to the rank of Executive Chef.

Over a twenty-five year career, Chef Hoss Zaré has established a loyal following while at the helm of several restaurants including Aromi, Zaré Sacramento, and Bistro Zaré. After a stint in the Napa Valley, fate would bring him back to the restaurant where his culinary journey began. Chef Hoss Zaré became owner of The Fly Trap Restaurant on August 8th, 2008. Only then did he truly begin to draw from the flavors and memories of his childhood. Known for his over the top sense of Hoss-pitality—often embracing guests with Hossy-Hugs—he is the force that pumps life into the team. Recipient of awards and praises, he’s been the subject of several publications. In addition, Chef Zaré has shot a bazooka, lived in a castle, and fallen from a tree. Currently, he is at work on a memoir and recipe book dedicated to his parents.

VALEN WEST | The Partner, Bar Matron, and Total Pro

Born and raised on her mother’s family farm near the West Virginian border, Valen grew her own veggies as a young girl. At night, she would sneak out and release the next day’s chicken for a final stroll. In third grade she lost a hula-hoop contest because she could only hula for eight seconds. She vowed to win the next year and practiced all summer. In 4th grade she hula-hoopped for a dizzying 4 hrs 39 min and 21 secs. When she was twenty, she went to Hawaii for vacation and stayed there for two years. Then she got bored. Her next stop was SF where she’s made her home for almost twenty years. She loves people and traveling, especially with her mom. In 2013 alone, Valen visited Mexico, Cuba, Turkey, Austria, Czech Republic, and New York City. She makes a mean Sazerac and lives with her old, overweight cat Marvin.