|Matt Martinez, Jr. was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He has his paternal grandfather to thank for his culinary success. Once a soldier in Pancho Villa's army, Delfino Martinez was captured by the Federales but managed to escape across the Texas border, eventually to open, in 1925, Austin's first Tex-Mex restaurant, called El Original. The family has been in the restaurant business ever since. As a youngster, Matt Jr. grew up working in his father's Austin restaurant, Matt's El Rancho.|
As a fourth generation Tex-Mex chef, Matt Jr. has continued his family's tradition with the development and operation of numerous successful restaurant concepts such as Matt's Rancho Martinez (Dallas, Texas) featuring his famous Tex-Mex food and Matt's No Place (Dallas, Texas) featuring his signature "prairie" style cooking to name a few.
Chef Matt Martinez, Jr. and his work have been featured multiple times in Southern Living, Money Magazine, Wine Spectator, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Dallas Home Design and D Magazine. The Dallas Morning News has reviewed his restaurants and recipes favorably on several occasions. In addition to being featured on CNN and The Food Network, Matt has made guest appearances on Now You're Cooking: Culinary Travel with Dave Ekert and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
He has served on the Texas Restaurant Association Board of Directors, was appointed to the Board of Physical Fitness for the State of Texas in 1993, and was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Hall of Honor in 2000.