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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

Norma Martinez
Executive Chef of El Vitral Restaurant

san diego food and wine festival chef Norma Martinez image

Chef Norma D. Martinez (29), a Tijuana native, grew up surrounded by great cooks. Matriarchs of the family, her mother and grandmother were known as the “best cooks in town”.

In 1999 Martinez headed off to the city of Puebla, to start her studies in culinary arts, at the highly recognized Instituto Culinario de Mexico. During these four years she interned in various restaurants and hotels, from her hometown of Tijuana to Catalonia as an apprentice of Chef Joan Pique, as well as working in the school’s restaurant.

In 2001 she headed off to Belgium for a hotel course in The Spermalie School in Bruges and in 2002 she ends up going to Nice, to a French kitchen workshop at St. Paul Augier School.

Writing a thesis titled    “Comparison of the culinary tendencies of Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and Jean Georges” Norma graduated from culinary school and headed back to Tijuana to work in a Mediterranean restaurant and in 2003 went to Andorra to work in a ski resort.

Back at her hometown she gets involved in the “Baja Chef’s Association”  working for a long period of time in the first Baja Med Restaurant in Tijuana and helping to open the company’s first restaurant in Bonita CA.

Once in San Diego she worked with Chef Fabrice Hardel from Westgate Hotel and in 2008 joined the El Vitral Restaurant where she created the menu which offers authentic Mexican cuisine with a sophisticated touch.

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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
World of Wine Event, LLC
7556 Trade St.
San Diego, CA  92121

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