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About The Chef

Julian Martinez is the executive chef and owner of Barbareño restaurant. Julian began his foray into the food world at age 17, working as a dishwasher at a tavern called The Nugget, in Summerland, CA. He worked his way up the industry’s ranks through the years, always reading any cookbook he could get his hands on and experimenting in the kitchen. After attending Claremont McKenna College, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to hone his culinary craft, working across the industry spectrum from Michelin-starred restaurants to food trucks. He founded Barbareño Restaurant in 2014 with a friend and business partner, Jesse Gaddy. He has since helped open multiple culinary concepts, including Quokka Kitchen, Cubaneo restaurant, and Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust.

Julian’s approach to food is eclectic, inspired by elements from Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean, Mexican, Cuban, Indian, regional American, and Asian culinary traditions. Above all, his goal is to find the most remarkable ingredients he can, and bring to light what makes those ingredients most special.

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