Matt Martinez Jr. Family History
The family business reflects a Tex-Mex tradition that spans five generations. Matt Martinez Sr., Chef Matt’s father, began with humble beginnings as did his father, Delfino, before him, selling tamales and pralines from a push cart on the steps of the State Capital in Austin, Texas. In 1925 Delfino proudly opened the first Tex-Mex eatery on 2nd and Congress, called El Original. His son, Matt Martinez Sr. and wife Janie, opened the door to their Matt’s El Rancho, Austin in 1952. El Rancho success is recognized throughout Texas and beyond. Matt Sr. was the self-proclaimed ”King of Mexican Food” that of course would make all the Martinez Tex-Mex Royalty!
Matt Jr. (Chef Matt) and his wife Estella ventured beyond Austin in 1985 and moved to Dallas, Texas. It is there, that Matt’s Rancho Martinez was born. Popularity, accolades and worldwide recognition has poured in since. With a host of honors, an important milestone and award of excellence was awarded to Chef Matt in 2000. He was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Hall of Fame alongside his father, Matt Sr. who was inducted in 1986. They are the first father and son to share this distinguished honor.
The pioneer and entrepreneur spirit found in the Martinez men continued with Matt Jr., providing both consulting and development services on numerous restaurant projects over the years, many whom continue successfully today. He was a sought after speaker and successful author with three books from his pen and developed his own spice and salsa line, Sendero Seasonings, now available online and in selected specialty food stores throughout the US.
Today the family tradition and legacy continues Matt and Estella’s son, Matt Martinez III is at the helm of this family business, insuring the legend and hospitality continues. His siblings also continue their involvement as well, each with a solid footing in the food and hospitality industry and strong ties to the Martinez history of success.