Food Network Star Daisy Martinez Spices Things Up at Summit Wine and Food Festival
Sunday, September 23, 2012 • 8:34pm
SUMMIT, NJ- With Summit resident Rex Ryan’s New York Jets playing Sunday afternoon, many people were glued to the tube preparing for the game. But others saw another celebrity spice things up in town at the Summit Wine and Food Festival when Brooklyn native, renowned chef and Food Network star Daisy Martinez gave a cooking presentation titled, “Flavors of the Americas.”
Growing up in a Spanish household where her grandmother and mother always cooked, it was in her blood to excel in the kitchen, she said.
“Family is food,” she said. “I always loved to have people in my home.”
Martinez, who has cooked her entire life, went to the French Culinary Institute at the age of 40. Shortly after finishing school, she got a job assisting chef Lidia Bastianich. While shooting one of the first shows, a producer asked her what she likes to make, she said Latin food and he then asked her if she would like to have her own show.
Martinez has had her show “Daisy Cooks” on PBS for seven years and three years on the Food Network. Her favorite food to make is chicken soup because “that says comfort food to me like nothing else,” she said.
The majority of the audience had seen Martinez before and enjoyed her demonstration of how to make gazpacho. She said it was the perfect thing for this time of year.
As she diced, chopped and explained how to make the cold tasty treat, she took questions, told anecdotes and even made people laugh on several occasions. Her bubbly personality flowed while she prepared the appetizer for everyone.
She used roasted peppers, blanched tomatoes, Spanish onion, clove, garlic, hothouse cucumbers, cherry vinegar and olive oil. Her favorite ingredient is the roasted peppers because they give the gazpacho the kick that it needs. It’s also important to add tomato juice and acid to it as well, she said.
“I’m telling you this makes all the difference,” Martinez said referring to the roasted peppers. “The contrast that acid gives food makes it so much more interesting.”
After serving the food in small martini-like glasses, the audience had nothing but praise for the chef.
Hoboken resident Natalie Waite, who had never seen Martinez in person, said she enjoyed the food and thought her presentation was fun and informative. She brings energy that really kept the audience drawn in the entire time, she said.
“I enjoyed the presentation,” Waite said. “It was casual, but you could still translate it to something formal.”
Summit resident Marry Brody-Higgins, who is a Brooklyn native like Martinez, said she attended the presentation because she likes her cooking and she has five boys at home who are always hungry. She wanted some tips from one of the best, she said.
“The food was great and my boys will enjoy it,” Brody-Higgins said.