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Paul Kitagaki Jr. / Sacramento Bee file

Edward Martinez is executive pastry chef at Hawks Restaurant in Granite Bay, Calif., April 11, 2012. Martinez is a former gang banger who was given a choice. Go to to culinary school or go to prison.

Pastry chef Edward Martinez leaving Enotria for Tyler Florence’s El Paseo

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 - 12:58 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 - 7:09 pm

One of Sacramento’s most prominent pastry chefs is soon leaving Sacramento for a plum job in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pajo Bruich, executive chef of Enotria, tells “Appetizers” that Edward Martinez is leaving Enotria in early September to be become a pastry chef at El Paseo, the Mill Valley restaurant run by celebrity chef Tyler Florence and rocker Sammy Hagar. Martinez will join another former Sacramentan at El Paseo: executive chef Mike Ward, who previously worked as a sous chef at Enotria and The Kitchen.

Martinez continually wowed diners in the Sacramento area for his fusion of modernist dessert techniques and mastery of the fundamentals. His signature desserts included a sumptuous chocolate orb and nitrogen infused mousses, along with running Enotria’s much lauded bread program.

Martinez also has an especially unique backstory. He’s a former gangbanger from Fresno, who left his Fresno Bulldogs gang to enroll in a pastry making program and avoid state prison time. The Bee’s profile of Martinez was included in Da Capo’s “Best Food Writing 2012.”

Martinez came to Sacramento from Napa, where he worked at the Michelin-starred Bistro Jeanty. Before joining Enotria’s kitchen team in 2012, he served as pastry chef at Hawks in Granite Bay.

Martinez’s motives for leaving Sacramento area are primarily personal, said Bruich. A move to the Bay Area will bring Martinez closer to his family, and along with this prestigious new pastry chef gig, Bruich is happy for Martinez’s opportunity. Martinez himself has preferred to stay low-key about the move, and declined to comment.

“This is a great next step in his career,” said Bruich. “It’s been very taxing on him emotionally to be away from his family, and I’m excited for him that he’ll be in a situation where his family is close by. We all need that. In the Bay, he’ll do fantastic and I’m super supportive of him. I will continue to be a fan of his.”


Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias

Read more articles by Chris Macias



About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
cmacias@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
apierleoni@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
brobertson@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob


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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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