Chef Bradley Martin is in the center of a major undertaking renovating the Riverside Convention Center. He was brought on board in November as the Executive Chef and Assistant General Manager of the massive venue. He finds himself wearing every hat as he plans the kitchen layout, hires an entire team (both front and back of the house), creates new menus and even directs the beverage program. The amount of people he feeds is dizzying; eight hundred one night and seven hundred the next in endless procession. In a center that is ramping up to host everything from concerts to trade shows to MMA fights, Chef Brad is getting ready for whatever is thrown his way.
Luckily, Chef Brad is a bundle of energy. His ability to cook and talk without missing a beat illustrates years of directing many cooks at once while still getting his own to-do list done. Chef Brad will have a kitchen staff of ten serving six different meeting halls which demands extreme organization, efficiency and time management. He admittedly thinks about food all the time and maintains that his passion for food is paramount to his success and he believes one should not be in the field if they lack this love.
Brad was classically trained at CIA in Hyde Park, New York. Upon graduating in 1991, he returned to his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida where he gained plenty of experience in high volume cooking for the Renaissance Hotel group. For 12 years, he worked among three of their hotels. After he met his wife, they moved to Southern California where he worked for Market Boiler Provider-the catering arm of Market Broiler. During this time, they had two children and Brad balanced his career and raising kids. He is the Chef in his household as well as in the real world and he enjoys cooking for his family.
Chef Brad most recently taught at Cal Baptist University for their nutrition program. He really had a knack for teaching the up and coming generation of cooks and hopes to keep one foot in the educational side of being a chef. However, when he was actively recruited by the Riverside Convention Center he saw an opening that was too exciting to pass up. His life has been a whirlwind ever since. Great Taste Magazine got to sample some of the new menu items to be served at the Center from Thai Coconut Curry Soup to Fennel dusted Sea Bass with Spinach Risotto. Chef Brad whipped up this delectable meal right in front of us, all the while telling us the story of his journey through many kitchens.