Chef's Table with South Philly Barbacoa's Cristina Martinez
Cristina Martinez is both a chef and an immigrant rights activist.
A native of Capulhuac, Mexico, Martinez's South Philly Barbacoa is a staple in the city — and she recently started shipping her taco kits nationwide.
- The two-time James Beard Foundation award finalist for best chef in the mid-Atlantic region has been featured on the Netflix series "Ugly Delicious" and "Chef’s Table."
- Martinez, who's outspoken about her undocumented status, has also been working on a new masa co-op that's designed to allow unauthorized immigrants to work legally and have ownership of their business.
We asked Martinez questions for our new culinary advice series, called Chef's Table.
🫖 Must-have tool in your home kitchen: A teapot. We hardly cook at home, but drink tea in the morning and evening.
🛒 Go-to grocery store: Giordano Garden Groceries in the Italian Market.
🌿 Most underutilized or overlooked ingredient? Epazote and red jalapeños, which are used more in my hometown of Capulhuac.
- Epazote, which grows as a weed around here, adds a pungent earthiness to broths. Red jalapeños are overlooked in favor of the green ones, which most people know.
🍽 Last restaurant you went to and your order: Chicken pho with no meat from PHO 75.
☝🏽 Quick tip for at-home cooks: Have a lot of patience and love for whatever you are creating. … To infuse your spirit with your culinary creation, it will make the food taste better and nourishing, and it will also calm down the spirit of the person preparing it.
🔌 How to unplug: Go for a walk, or in the summer, ride a bike around the neighborhood.
More Philadelphia stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.