True Texas Culinary Legend
Matt Martinez’s grandfather had not
escaped his own hanging, we would not be sitting
here today telling the tale of how Delfino
Martinez got to be the legendary chef of the
west. A Mexican soldier in Pancho Villa’s
army, Delfino Martinez was captured by the
Federales in the Mexican Revolutionary War
and sentenced to hang. The young and vigorous
Delfino had the good grace to escape, crossing
over the Mexican border and settling down
in Texas with his wife, Maria.
need to picture the pleasure that Matt gets
in telling this story — his feet propped
up, drink in his hand and a grin on his face.
“What I do know is that his new lease
on life either gave him an appetite for cooking
or he had it all along.” Matt tells
this and the many other stories, punctuated
with laughter. We are being entertained by
one of America’s grand personalities.
Matt is wearing a custom-made brown cowboy
hat, Margarita in hand, and has in five minutes
welcomed us like we’ve known him since
childhood. “Get out of here,”
you hear Matt exclaiming to one of our own
stories. Matt’s food is fearless and
tasty, using rich wonderful ingredients, a
roaring wood flame, and plenty of Tex Mex
personality. Matt, like Texas, is bigger in
person than his reputation.
little Matt!” is how President Lyndon
Baines Johnson used to greet Matt when he
came to Matt’s daddy’s place.
Out of the 4 children that they raised, Matt
Jr. was the one that caught the bug, as he
stood knee high to President Lyndon Baines
Johnson, listening to him rave more than once
that this was the best food under the Texas
prairie sky. He ain’t little Matt no
Matt enjoys his status as one of Texas’
legends. His original Tex-Mex style, that
has also been referred to as “prairie/range”
style, is the embodiment of high quality culinary
ingredients, live fire, and tried and true
seasoning rubs he has developed over the years.
generation Tex-Mex Chef
Matt’s father was President Lyndon Baines
Johnson’s favorite barbecue chef
Restaurant Owner of : Matt’s in Jefferson,
Matt’s No Place, Matt’s Rancho
Martinez, and Matt’s No Place.
Author of Matt Martinez’s Culinary Frontiers,
and Matt Makes a Run for the Border
Serves on the board of Texas Restaurant Association,
focusing on the free trade agreements with
Voted “Best Kept Secret in Dallas”
by Money Magazine, along with many other awards
Inducted into the Texas Restaurant Hall of
Honor in June, 2000.
is the way cooking was done under the prairie
sky, and how it’s supposed to be. We’re
merely perfecting what was done right in the
Matt Martinez, Author of Matt Martinez’s