2012 Austin Rising Star Artisan Chef Brandon Martinez got his culinary start early, working with his grandparents at their Corpus Christi catering company, Wilman’s Catering. And he went on to prepare for his cheffing career Del Mar community college, and that’s where he met friend, fellow chef, and future business partner John Bates.
But the Fates didn’t join the two immediately; Martinez briefly abandoned his Texan home to round out his Del Mar training at the New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 2002. And before coming back to the Lone Star State, Martinez fleshed out his resume behind the line at the Inn at the Anasazi, a Santa Fe resort hotel, and Aquarello, a Michelin-recognized Italian restaurant in San Francisco.
But once home, Martinez teamed up with former classmate Bates to open a restaurant built on scratch-cooking and a simple philosophy: “make it, and make it better than the guy down the street.” With more than enough experience in the standards and practices of contemporary upscale dining between them, the duo created something that had the guts—but none of the daintiness—of modern, sophisticated cuisine. The Noble Pig, now open for almost one and a half years, solidifies Bates’s and Martinez’s shared passion for applying the highest standards to the most straightforward, delicious food.