Featured Chef Pauline Thomas Martinez of Perk Eatery.
How did you get your start in the restaurant business?
I was born into the restaurant business. My family has been in the business for almost 50 years.
What is your favorite Valley restaurant, besides your own?
I adore the homemade ravioli and gnocchi at Tutti Santi. There is a beautiful symphony in a well-done handmade product.
What is your favorite dish at your restaurant?
For breakfast definitely my pancakes—they are really delicious. For lunch, it's our Bahamas Mama sandwich which is marinated chicken breast grilled over an open flame, served in a warm pita bread topped with Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, grilled pineapple and our cool cucumber dill sauce—it's belly-filling goodness.
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
That’s a tough one only because I seek out great food and I've had some pretty amazing meals. But if I had to choose one I'd say it was a fresh-caught lobster that was split and cooked over a wood-burning flame topped with a black truffle butter. It was decadent and sinfully delicious. There was something magical that was translated between the delicate sweetness of the lobster meat and the smoky richness of the open flame. The truffle butter was just extra indulgence.
If you could have anyone visit your restaurant, who would it be?
Guy Fieri of the Food Network. I love his appreciation for good old-fashioned, stick-to-the-ribs food, in spite of his French culinary training.
Name three ingredients that you have at home at all times.
Butter, garlic and wine.
What is your favorite bottle of wine or cocktail?
I enjoy a bottle of Duckhorn Decoy Merlot.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Ha! Did I forget to mention that I own a restaurant? In my free time, I work. But when I had some free time a long time ago, I enjoyed traveling and studying beautiful architecture and design.