New Jersey native Jeffrey Martell became a chef after a teenage pocket-money job ignited a passion for all things culinary. A graduate of a culinary-arts school in his home state, Martell has worked in kitchens in Chicago, Philadelphia and Florida; Las Vegas posts include The Orleans, Excalibur and a local culinary school. He was named Las Vegas Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2011, and currently is executive chef at Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broads at the Plaza downtown.
Review-Journal: Always in your fridge?
Chef Jeffrey Martell: Fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, avocados, a lot of fresh vegetables. We don’t do a lot of carbs, so we’ll do cauliflower rice and stir-fries with that. Parsnips, rutabaga. A lot of chicken, pork loins. In the summer, everything’s cooked outside on the grill.
RJ: Current obsession?
Martell: Different fishes. I love playing with the whole sea-bass family, and different purees to go with them.
R-J: Favorite indulgence?
Martell: I love my ice cream. Klondike Bars.
R-J: I never eat …
Martell: I’m not a big fan of fried food, or fast food. I haven’t eaten fast food in quite a long time.
R-J: Favorite brunch at home?
Martell: You gotta do some nice gravlax, bagels and different toppings. Pancakes and waffles and nice eggs Benedict, do a nice little lobster hollandaise on top. Last time we did two different types of bacon, sausage links, sausage patties with a spicier sausage. Some nice cold salads and some ciabatta sandwiches.
R-J: Tip for home cooks?
Martell: Definitely with grilling, don’t flip things so many times. Let things sear on the grill and let those juices and flavors be in there. You don’t need to turn those steaks so many times.
R-J: Currently working on?
Martell: Developing some new stuff for fall — just want to introduce some new vegetables, kind of play with some stuff like that.