Joined :5/20/2010 | Video Recipes: 0 | Follow Chef
Brooklyn, NY United States

Chef Ivan Martinez knew from a young age that he was born to cook, it is in his blood. He learned from his mother, a professional chef in New York City specializing in Latin fusion cuisine. Don't let Ivan's young appearance fool you; he has been working in professional kitchens for over 14 years. He always gravitated toward the kitchen, starting his first job putting boxes together for a local pizzeria in the Bronx, watching and learning anything he could. At the young age of 13, he found himself going home and writing down the recipes he saw at the pizzeria. Soon after, there was an opening in the kitchen and Ivan jumped at the chance to show them what he could do. He impressed them and became a permanent part of the kitchen team. After a few years, he looked for jobs that would allow him to further his culinary knowledge. Ivan went on to work at well known establishments such as Oceana and Molyvos, specializing in Greek cuisine. He applied his hard work ethic and passion for food and helped open Parea with famed Iron Chef Michael Symon. At Parea he was truly able to hone his culinary skills and allow his passion for cooking to blossom into a seasoned veteran in fine dining Greek/Mediterranean cuisine. He was then approached by Pete and Christina Lekkas, proprietors of Elia, a Modern Greek Restaurant located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where fine dining meets charming Manhattan style bistro ambiance. As Executive Chef of Elia, he now has full control of his own kitchen, staff and menus. Empowered with this, Ivan creates new and exciting dishes for the patrons of Elias on a daily basis and is loving every minute of it. His passion for food and cooking is obvious in every perfectly designed dish that leaves his immaculate kitchen. A rising star in the culinary industry, Ivan has been cooking at Elia for over 4 years and would not have it any other way.