Chef Nickolas Martinez of Intersect by Lexus - Biography

New York, NY

October 2019

Nickolas Martinez was inspired by his Polish great-grandmother’s cooking. Watching her make schnitzel and cabbage rolls, ensuring none of the ingredients went to waste, motivated Martinez to pursue a culinary career. While in his final semester at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 2003, Martinez made it a goal to work for Alain Ducasse at Essex House, so he called the restaurant and faxed his resume every day. When he finally received a call back and was offered a job, Martinez packed all his things and moved to the city to start working the day after graduation. Beginning as a commis in garde manger, he worked his way up to chef de partie by the time he left for a brief stint at the Mandarin Oriental. 

In 2006, he joined two Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon where he worked until 2012, with a year at the Four Seasons in between. His next venture was as executive chef of Foragers, a restaurant and market focused on local and organic ingredients, where he remained for four years. As of July 2017, Martinez serves as executive chef of Lexus’ Intersect, where he works alongside a rotating cast of global chefs-in-residence who serve tenures of four to six months and develop their own unique menus.