On Sunday, June 3, Martinez competed against chefs from 30 different central coast restaurants, caterers and bakeries in the festival’s annual “Yummies Competition.” In the end, a panel of celebrity judges that included “Top Chef” seasons five and eight participant Fabio Viviani and “MasterChef” season two runner-up Adrien Nieto deemed Martinez’s tender short ribs in a reduction of cabernet wine and natural juices to be the tastiest dish in the competition and awarded him the first place trophy.
"he Central Coast is home to so many wonderfully creative and talented chefs,” said Martinez. “It is especially gratifying to win the top prize when competing against such stiff competition.”
Martinez, who arrived on the Ventura County culinary scene nine months ago, has a long history in the hotel culinary industry. For more than 21 years, Martinez served as the executive chef for premier hotels in the U.S. including J.W. Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn and Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
In addition, Martinez has won numerous culinary excellence awards and has served on the faculty of Riverside City College’s Culinary Academy where he taught international cuisine and culinary history.
At the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Martinez has helped revamp the menu at the hotel’s award-winning C Street restaurant to include olive oil poached halibut, chipotle BBQ roasted salmon, C-Street braised short ribs, coconut crusted fried calamari and ahi tuna tartare.
The Casa Pacifica Wine and Food Festival attracts about 4,000 people each year and raises nearly $300,000 for the non-profit’s array of programming for abused and neglected children and adolescents.
About The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is Ventura’s only beachfront hotel. With 258 ocean view rooms, including 18 ocean view suites and almost 20,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is the premiere location for business, conference or leisure travel experiences. The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel is managed by Providence Hospitality Partners (PHP), based in Denver, Colorado.
Crowne Plaza offers 366 upscale hotels in nearly 60 countries around the world. The hotels appeal to both the business and leisure traveler looking for simplified elegance and the features visitors have come to expect from a world-class hotel.
For more information, contact the Crowne Plaza at: 800-842-0800 or go to: www.CPVentura.com.
Providence Hospitality Partners