At the young age of just 15 years old, Mexico City born Chef Martin San Roman felt that the kitchen was his calling. Within the next two years, he decided to become a professional chef and move abroad, kicking off a culinary career that has, ultimately, led him back home.
San Roman began his studies and training in culinary arts at the profound Ecole de Cuisine Lenôtre de Paris and that's where his love for the French cuisine was born. “The French are the best in the world, with the best culinary techniques, tradition, and elegance," said San Roman. "Mexican flavors are different, romantic, with products all over the country of Mexico being excellent. Combine that with the best technique, and your kitchen becomes extraordinary.”
Throughout the years, a man of many talents, San Roman has accomplished his goals as an award winning chef and restaurateur. Known for his French-Mexican cuisine, he has worked at Michelin star restaurants, hotel chains in Paris, London, Singapore, Brussels, and stateside in San Diego, California. He has also operated acclaimed restaurants in both the United States and Mexico.
His former restaurant Tour de France in Tijuana, led the way with the region’s fusion forward fare in Northern Baja California. It also won the “San Diego’s Finest service award” in 1997, while technically operating across the border in Tijuana. Perhaps you may also recognize him from his eight year stint on the Televisa program called “Del Chef a Usted.”
“The life as a chef for me is incredible," San Roman said. "I'm always learning and I very much enjoy what I do. Visiting a lot of countries, eating at the best restaurants in the world, and surrounding myself with the best chefs in the world, while learning from them.” He is one of the few Latin chefs to become a member of the Académie Culinaire in France and the only Mexican member of the Societé des Cuisiners of Paris. He also has been a member of the American Culinary Federation for many years.
A huge part of his life are his experiences in cuisine on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border. He lives and works in two different worlds and could not love it more. “I know that my way of working, thinking, and organization needs to be very comfortable with American chefs, as well as Mexican or even French chefs," he said. "If I'm in the United States I think as an American, and as a Mexican while I am in Mexico. They are both different, but in the end the whole purpose is to have good food.”
His newest venture is the opening of La Terrasse San Roman in Mexico’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. He has joined forces with Alximia winery, and pairs their wines with his Baja Provençal cuisine. He uses the abundance of local products, while creating simple and rustic dishes with his characterized style. “I love Provence, and with knowing how to merge the Mex-Baja flavors together with that, it comes out incredible!" San Roman said. "It has my style, so much that the place has my last name.”
As far as what to expect in the future he says, “I will continue to follow my profession as a chef and consultant in both the US and Mexico. I would love to have a cooking show in the United States, as well as launch my tequila brand there.”