food and beverage underground

Daisy Martinez – “Daisy Cooks” at
The New York Culinary Experience

As soon as we entered The French Culinary Institute we knew this day was going to be special. The professionalism and organization of the event was immediately evident as attendants guided us through the registration process and brought us to meet our host. They were also kind enough to give us a nice tour of the facility and guide us to our sessions.

waiter, server, waiter with tray

As this was our first visit to the institute, the tour really exposed what a large and professional environment they have created. There were numerous kitchens, classrooms and even a full service restaurant, all available to the students. Now I’ve been through many culinary establishments over the years, this one is exceptional, a real cut above.

The Fun Begins

My fist session was with Daisy Martinez, star of “Daisy Cooks.”

The attendees quickly gathered under Chef Martinez’s direction and she let us know we were going to cover a lot of culinary ground in our session. We divided up into teams of four and headed to our stations where Chef assigned each of us a task from the preparation list. The format was great. Chef Martinez continuously described the processes to all of us as she bounced from station to station helping, guiding and interacting with us each step of the way.

Grilled Skirt Steak


  • 4 Skirt Steaks, trimmed
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Oil spray


Rub salt and pepper and onion powder on steaks
Sprinkle with vinegar and brush with olive oil
Grill to taste
Drizzle chimichurri sauce over it (see recipe below).

Chimichurri Sauce


  • 4 cups flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic ½-
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


Process parsley and garlic in processor until fine, and scrape out into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar, and check for seasoning. Add optional red pepper flakes for a spicy chimichurri.

One mark of a real pro is that she makes everyone feel welcome. Of course Daisy did. But there’s another level of professional, one who is able to teach a room full of people from all walks of life, from novice to peer, and leave no one out: that’s Chef Daisy Martinez.

Daisy was really great. She took time with everyone showing us tricks of the trade, like how to make perfect rice every time. In fact, beginners and pros alike came away with great value. I was impressed by the way Chef showed the less kitchen-savvy in our group how to hold a knife and how to cut an onion properly. I imagine not many chefs of this caliber would even bother with something so trivial. Her care reminded me how important it is to appreciate everyone and honor their desire to learn.

The stations kept buzzing throughout the session, guided seamlessly by Chef’s combination of easy expertise and great humor. Daisy was wonderful. Her energy and enthusiasm flowed through the kitchen and came to such a wonderful crescendo when we all gathered to taste the fruits of our labor! It was here where the rubber met the road, and let me tell you one thing…. It sure didn’t taste like rubber!

I can’t say what the best part of this session was, but what I am sure about is the atmosphere, the attitude, the knowledge and the pure excitement and passion of Chef Daisy Martinez. She created one spectacular experience!

From Daisy Martinez to Culinary Edge

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