Rising Star Pastry Chef Edward Martinez of Lazy Bear - Biography

San Francisco , CA

September 2016

Edward Martinez’s happiest childhood memories are of baking with his mother, who, tragically, died when he was just 7. His father moved the family from San Jose to Fresno, and at 13, he was already initiated into the city’s gang culture. Like many teenagers yearning for independence and pocket money, Martinez took a job as a dishwasher at 14, but gang life took over, and by 20 he was facing eight years in prison. Martinez plead no contest to a misdemeanor and, after imploring the judge, was allowed to enroll in a culinary educational program, knowing that if he screwed up, he’d be locked up. Pastry appealed to Martinez’s geeky, obsessive, perfectionist side. He excelled, staging with Rising Stars alum Matt Tinder at Meadowood and graduating at the top of his class.

Not yet ready to lead a kitchen, he left his first pastry chef gig at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville after eight months and moved into the world of high-end cakes. While working again as a restaurant pastry chef in Sacramento, Martinez met Joey Elenterio of Michelin-starred Chez TJ. Later, they worked together at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco. After putting in time at Bourbon Steak and Guy Savoy, Martinez reunited with Elenterio to open Cadence, where he earned a 2016 StarChefs Rising Stars Award. After Cadence closed in mid 2016, Martinez was recruited by fellow Rising Star Chef David Barzelay to lead the pastry program at Michelin star, format busting, dinner party styled Lazy Bear.