EXECUTIVE CHEF | MESA
Abad Martinez, often referred to as an extremely humble chef, has accomplished plenty, but he isn’t anywhere near being done yet. From becoming a Chef de Cuisine at 24 to being featured on Food Network for a steak dish he created, Chef Abad is grateful for these experiences and accolades. He sees these accomplishments as simply notches on his culinary belt, which still has space for many more, perhaps even a Michelin star one day. Abad looks at the industry as not just a business, but as a lifestyle.
“The culinary world can be tough, but it’s fun and it’s life changing, and in order to succeed, you gotta be dedicated, committed, and learn to roll with the punches. All the energy put in will eventually be returned tenfold.” - Chef Abad Martinez
Abad has always had an affinity for cooking; growing up in San Pedro and then later moving to Riverside at the age of six, he’d observe his dad in the kitchen and often help him create holiday dishes. There was always something to be celebrated at home growing up, and he took those opportunities to learn about food and make himself comfortable in the kitchen. Throughout the years he has learned even more from other talented chefs, such as Ben Martinek and Nick Wynn. He’s also picked up some tips and new methods along the way, including avoiding the waste of ingredients just to make a dish look pretty, but to actually give each ingredient a purpose. He also enjoys cooking with unfamiliar ingredients and studying uncommon flavor combinations and new cooking techniques. Most importantly, his methods are constantly evolving, because he believes that consistently learning is key to being a good chef.
Abad is excited about his residency at Mesa and looks forward to bringing creative and inventive dishes to the Southern California culinary scene. He hopes to bring something big and memorable to Orange County’s thriving food atmosphere.