Celebrity Chefs of South Florida: Chef Martin Lopez

All the way from St Louis Missouri Chef Martin is receiving National attention. From California to New York, from Seattle and now Florida and Palm Beach his name is popping all over the country for his Mexican and Latin flair and his passion of Mexican/Italian cooking and ingredients.

Chef Martin Lopez is a well-respected award winning Chef, TV personality and Host, he is also a Food Writer, Blogger, Culinary Journalist, Published Author, and Culinary Ambassador for the Hispanic Community as well as a Community Humanitarian.

So let’s meet Chef Martin.

How did you get started in the food industry?

I was born in Mexico City to a hardworking, dedicated Mother, the versatility of ingredients were shown to me at an early stage. At seven years old, I was already part of the kitchen household responsibilities and showing my passion for cooking. Having three brothers and three sisters made a large family and with Mexican European traditions, needless to say there was a lot of cooking involved. It is no surprise that I fell in love with the art of cooking from a very early age.

After Culinary school and travels to Europe, Mexico, and South America, I began to create an array of dishes of multicultural cuisines, and I started to combine ingredients from all around the world to create pieces that now all of us are more accustomed to. My background and my love of art, along with my cooking, married into what I call now Mexican nouvelle cuisine with European overtones.

Can you tell us a little more about your Website?

In 2009 I was the founder of www.ChefMartin.net developing my nonprofit website to share information and passion about cooking and the community events, giving the opportunity to large and small groups to share information about culinary events and passing information to individuals and general public on how to be able to help, be part of or take part of the event.

I now have thousands of fans friends and followers on Facebook, twitter, instagram, and my website, I continue to cook, write, develop recipes, concepts, trends and share my passion for my cooking. I am a blogger and food writer judge for culinary competitions and contributor for many magazines across the country, I am also a host, correspondent and Culinary Journalist for Spanish network TV shows for DiarioDigitalSTL.com

I am often seen on TV shows, live public presentations and radio around the country including CBS, FOX, and ABC.

I invite everyone to join me on my social media outlets and connect with me

What is your philosophy on cooking?

Knowing how to cook means you’ll be able to turn all sorts of fresh ingredients into meals when they’re in season, at their best, and cheapest!

Bringing and discovering a beautiful flair of world ingredients, understanding and respecting the culture and the usage of these to create new expressions of flavor, texture and colors.

Cooking this way will always be cheaper than buying processed food, not to mention better for you. Because you’ll be cooking a variety of lovely things, you’ll naturally start to find a sensible balance. Some days you’ll feel like making something light, and fresh, other days you’ll want something warming and hearty. If you’ve got to snack between meals, try to go for something healthy rather than loading up on chocolate or potato crisps. Basically, as long as we all recognize that treats should be treats, not a daily occurrence, we’ll be in a good place.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your cooking career?

There are many things that had happen in my career that make me laugh, being a Chef it’s fun normally a chef works long hours under a very stressful margins so I always try to keep it light with my staff and keep it real, I never take myself to serious.

There was a time I was working on a high profile event, I was trying to get the best of the best to create this dinner and I wanted to finish with a dessert that was going to keep people talking about it for days after this magnificent dinner was served. For part of the dessert I was using a slow sweet blackberry reduction sauce I made using locally grown and hand-picked blackberries from a local farm in Missouri. My masterpiece was done and all I needed was to strain the sauce to take all seeds out, chill it and have it ready to paint the plates, at the last minute I started to run short on time so I asked one of my cooks to strain it for me, few minutes later he returned ready for his next task, I asked him, “did you get the sauce ready” his face dropped and he looked at me with round eyes, “what sauce… I thought you wanted the solids”

Right at that moment it wasn’t funny but now it’s a story that always makes me laugh!

I know that many restaurants in South Florida now focus on using more local cuisine. What foods are you planning on highlighting this season?

Many chefs and restaurants across the country are going back to a basic cooking with simple and good quality ingredients for a fresh ingredient approach. People nowadays are looking for food that brings them warmth and chefs are keeping it healthy and fresh to stay on top of the demand. I see this trending more and more just as “Farm to Table” movement did. For me as a Culinary Ambassador for the Hispanic Community I will be focusing on bringing ingredients and foods that represent us staying on the same basis and bringing awareness to some great fun ingredients and vegetables people can discover at home.

More and more chefs have become involved in cooking contests featured on the Food Network. Do you have any interest in that?

Any chef should!

I believe this type of TV shows are a great platform for new talent, not only from the Food Network but in general, I believe that any aspiring chefs should be part of them and enter as many as possible, any and all competitions can be a big part of their professional growth, not only helps them develop a discipline, sense of urgency and elevates the competitive label, but it helps them to market their name and provide exposure to their name as chefs.

A chef is an artist and it is very important to be sure his or her name is known.

God knows I did my share and lucky for me I now mainly judge events of this nature.

What new and exciting plans do you have for your future?

To continue to work on my Chef Martin brand, finish my two books I have in the works right now and grow my public presentations so please look me up and follow me on my social media platforms, you can find all the links to them at my website www.ChefMartin.net

Thank you Palm Beach Happening for the invitation and for the opportunity to reach out to your readers, and thank you to all my Florida friends, and as always, Happy Cooking!

 

 

We’d like to thank Chef Martin for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us.

If you’re a local chef whose cuisine matches up to the best out there, we’d love to talk to you. Contact us and perhaps you can be the next celebrity chef!