Cooking with Chef Martinez


Chloe Reoyo

Chef Martinez’s students learning how to make cakes

Chloe Reoyo, Journalist

Elizabeth Martinez is a culinary teacher at Shadow Ridge. She has been cooking for two decades and has traveled around the world. 

I have been a professional chef for 20 years. I have worked as a private chef taking me to places such as Canada, India, and several places here in the US. I have worked in professional kitchens and as a culinary instructor for Le Cordon Bleu College as well as for CCSD.  I have had the privilege to cook for real estate developers, hotel owners, politicians, and actors. This career has been a part of my life for so long that I do not know what else I would do,” explains Martinez. 

I love this class, it allows us to learn basic but very useful culinary skills. I also love the mood in the class, everyone is helping each other and willing to learn

— Bryan Cole

She decided to learn culinary arts because it has always been very important for her. She graduated from the Art Institute of Las Vegas. 

I graduated from the Art Institute with an Associate of Arts in the culinary arts. I have always had a passion for food and cooking, it seemed like a natural industry to turn into a career,” says Martinez. 

Martinez decided to teach because after being taught, she wanted to give back to her students. 

“I love teaching and giving back to my industry, plus when I teach I am always learning something new, students are great to learn from because they are always asking great questions,” comments Martinez. 

Teaching such particular classes leads to very unique experiences. Students don’t know what to expect and might be surprised with what happens. 

Martinez says, “I love seeing the student’s faces when I teach something that is new to them, the awe and excitement on their faces is priceless.”

Culinary classes are very helpful classes, they can help every student in their futures and their daily lives. 

“They will have a life skill that they can use anytime, they will develop a sense of independence and learn to collaborate with others and develop discipline,” explains Martinez. 

Martinez has many goals for this year, but the main one involves her senior students. 

“I would love to finish the year strong with the seniors completing the CTE exam,” comments Martinez. 

Martinez loves teaching but not everything is always perfect. 

“My favorite thing about teaching is getting to see the students cooking and tasting what they have created but my least favorite is when the students aren’t here to see the instruction and demos, this hinders the rest of the groups,” explains Martinez. 

Martinez always has very good advice for her students. She wants them to be the best version of themselves and to always learn from their mistakes.

“If I had to give one piece of advice to my students, it would be to stay active and practice your skill set, try as many foods as they can, and watch and read as many food-related shows as they can. Join organizations such as ACF, FCCLA, and other culinary organizations to keep up with the industry and your peers in the industry,” says Martinez.