Daisy Martinez Bio

A Brooklyn, N.Y., native born to mainland Puerto Rican parents, Daisy Maria Martinez lived at her grandmother’s house until she was almost 5 years old. Between her grandmother Valentina and her mother, Conchita, Daisy learned that the kitchen is the happiest room in the household, filled with love, family and delicious food. With an extended family of relatives from Central America, Spain and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, Daisy grew up appreciating the diversity of Latin cuisine.

Prior to entering the food world, Daisy was an actress and model, appearing in projects ranging from print ads for Spanish shoe company Martinez Valero, to American and Spanish-language commercials for products such as Ford and AT&T, and movie roles, including Carlito’s Way and Scent of a Woman.

While attending Long Island University, she met her husband, Dr. Jerry Lombardo. After marrying, Daisy dedicated herself to raising her family, for whom she often hosted festive gatherings featuring delicious food – a tradition that she happily continues to this day.

As a surprise birthday gift, Daisy’s husband sent her to cooking school – a dream that Daisy had always wanted to pursue. In 1998 she matriculated at the French Culinary Institute, where she won first prize for her final project, “The Passionate Palate.” Shortly after graduation, Daisy worked as a prep-kitchen chef on the set of PBS’ Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, a private chef in New York City and as the owner of a small catering business, also called “The Passionate Palate.”

In 2005 Daisy launched her new career with Daisy Cooks! on PBS and her cookbook, Daisy Cooks! Latin Flavors that Will Rock Your World, which was an IACP nominee and winner of the Best Latino Cuisine Cookbook in the World by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

As Daisy's star ascended she met the iconic Rachael Ray at an event. This chance meeting led to Ray's production company, Watch Productions, producing Viva Daisy!, which debuted on Food Network in January 2009. The show continued her focus on celebrating life and family through food, while demonstrating her knowledge of the broad spectrum of Latin cuisine. In addition to her TV show, Daisy is also a regular columnist for Every Day with Rachael Ray and Selecciones magazines.

Intensely proud of her Puerto Rican heritage, Daisy is very active in the Latino community and with many philanthropic endeavors. To date, just a few of her honors and activities include: Latinas Unidas in Rochester, N.Y., and The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families; mistress of ceremonies for The American Cancer Society Gala/Brooklyn Chapter and judge for the Street Vendor Project’s Vendy Awards; the promotion of more fresh food in corner stores through her heartfelt essay and recipe for the Bodega Party in a Box; working with the New York Fire Department Museum Cook-Off, March of Dimes/ Chicago Chapter, Easter Seals Miami/Dade County Chapter; and appearing at numerous career days at schools all over New York City.

A dedicated mother of four fantastic children, Daisy and her family reside in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

Ina Garten Bio

Get to know Ina Garten, host of Barefoot Contessa.