Martita is a San Diego native and professional chef, best known for her appearance on the most recent season of Next Food Network Star on Food Network. A food industry lifer, Martita grew up in the restaurant business, embracing her family's entrepreneurial spirit and helping to run their upstart restaurant, Jose's Mexican Food. Over the years, Jose's has expanded to eight restaurants from San Diego up to San Bernardino County, including its Mi Tortilla Mexican Grill restaurants.
Martita is a rare chef in the sense that while she did take several culinary classes, she never graduated from any culinary school. She did a year of culinary training at The Art Institute, studied interior design for a year at UCLA, and studied business for a few years between San Bernardino Community College and then BYU.
Being a jack of all trades has served Martita very well, as she's continued to thrive in the food industry while also working constantly as an interior designer. She currently works for Marso, an interior design company. Her specialty is as a lifestyle designer who takes things beyond simple design, and helps clients out in other areas, usually in the kitchen. Riviera Magazine ran an exclusive feature on Martita in their April 2013 issue, highlighting her expertise as a lifestyle designer. Once she designs and decorates, she often holds catered meals in the new space to show the client how it looks when the niceties of good food and good company are tied in with the newly improved home, office, or studio.
In addition to working continually at her family's restaurants, Martita experienced a few other jobs as well, usually within the family. Her father dabbled in the used car business and also spent time as a landscape architect, which meant Martita would work at the car dealership and at the nursery, never missing an opportunity to ingrain herself with a strong work ethic. It's that will to succeed and her tireless effort that is serving her now, as she embarks on a new restaurant venture with her family, spearheaded by her and her sister, Linda. While it will retain themes consistent with her Mexican roots, the venture is entirely different from the existing family business. The location is still undecided, with Martita looking at places in both Southern California and Texas. As a co-owner, Martita will be creating the menu and planning the design scheme.
A master of Mexican cuisine, her motto is to keep things as straightforward as possible. She believes that meals shouldn't take all day to prepare, but rather, that with simple flavors anyone can master, delicious food is just minutes away. This strategy worked on Food Network when she won a couple team challenges and was selected as the judges' favorite in one episode. Since her turn on Food Network, she's been appearing more on television, including frequently on the local Fox affiliate in San Diego. Additionally, media companies are lining up to book her for media tours as a culinary expert. With burgeoning careers in both food and design, not to mention some national exposure, Martita is sure to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.