Chef Ana Martinez. Photo courtesy of event organizers.
Chef Ana Martinez. Photo courtesy of event organizers.

More than 20 accomplished Texas chefs are stepping up to the plate to host a brunch on Sunday, July 31 to benefit local Mexican Chef Ana Martinez, who was recently involved in a serious car accident and faces a long recovery.

“(Martinez) is out of the hospital now but needs close to 24-hour supervision due to her injuries,” said Restaureteur Lisa Wong, owner of Rosario’s and close friend of Martinez. “She has a long road of recovery ahead.”

Martinez, who since 2006 has been the head chef at Covenant Hills Women’s Center, a treatment facility in Boerne that specializes in helping women who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction, has participated in culinary festivals, taught cooking classes at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico, and worked at restaurants such as the Guenther House and Ácenar.

The brunch in Martinez’s honor will take place at Rosario’s North, 9715 San Pedro Ave., from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tickets are $100 and include beer, mimosas, margaritas, a bloody mary bar, and an array of coffee drinks from Espresso Amore Mio. Food stations will feature an array of culinary samples, like ceviche and homemade donuts, from participating chefs and restaurants. Several beer options and live music also will be available.

There will be several auction items to raise money for Martinez, including an opportunity to rent a Dos Equis party bus for a personalized pub crawl for 20 people – an opportunity not available to the general public.

Only 300 tickets are available for the event, but donations are also welcome. All the proceeds will go toward Martinez’s recovery.

To buy tickets, click here.

Participating Chefs Include:

The event was put together by Chefs For Chefs, an organization started by Biga on the Banks’ Bruce Auden and Penny Shea, where local celebrity chefs in San Antonio band together to help other chefs in need.

The first Chef For Chefs event took place on Jan. 20, 2013 when chefs came together to benefit Emma Dirmeyer, the daughter of Biga’s former Executive Sous Chef Daniel Dirmeyer, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.

(Read more: Chefs For Chefs: A Brunch to Help Those in Need)

More than 300 people attended the 2013 Chefs for Chefs brunch for Team Emma Dirmeyer. Courtesy photo.
More than 300 people attended the 2013 Chefs 4 Chefs brunch for Team Emma Dirmeyer. Courtesy photo.

The location for this year’s Chefs For Chefs event is a meaningful one.

Wong has a personal connection to Martinez. They are both members of San Antonio’s Les Dames d’ Escoffier – an invitation-only organization for women in the food and hospitality and agriculture sectors – and worked years ago at Ácenar, where they helped design the menu together.

“She’s family,” Wong said.

A native of Mexico City, Martinez came to San Antonio in 1999 after she married San Antonio architect Christopher Egan. After Egan passed away from a brain tumor, Martinez began work at Covenant Hills, where she has provided nutritious food choices that have been an integral part in healing the mind, body, and soul of the patients for the last 10 years.

She may not have blood relatives in San Antonio, Wong said, but Martinez’s family of restaurateurs and local chefs have come together to plan this fundraiser to “help her get through this next phase of her journey.”

Chef Ana Martinez during a cooking demonstration. Photo by Tracy Maurer.
Chef Ana Martinez during a cooking demonstration. Photo by Tracy Maurer.

“Ana is one of the first people who volunteers to help when someone is in need,” said Leslie Horn, event co-chair and owner of Aurelia’s Chorizo. “It makes it easy for other people to step up for her.”

Horn is amazed at the food community in San Antonio, she said, because it’s not competitive and everybody works together.

“These culinary first responders always come out to charity events and work for free and they always say yes,” she said.

Wong said it’s a privilege to do so.

“San Antonio is still a small city and we are very close knit,” Wong said. “We are there for each other, (and) that’s what it’s all about.”

Top image: Chef Ana Martinez. Photo courtesy of event organizers. 

Related Stories:

Chefs For Chefs: A Brunch to Help Those in Need

Healthy Inspiration from Traditionally Prepared Mexican Cuisine

Savor the Music: Pleasing the Palate by Soothing the Soul

Spurs Trade Jerseys for Aprons in Fight Against Hunger

Avatar photo

Rocío Guenther

Rocío Guenther has called San Antonio home for more than a decade. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, she bridges two countries, two cultures, and two languages. Rocío has demonstrated experience in...