My name is Davide G. Martins and I am a Portuguese living in Washington DC, currently the Executive Chef at Delegation of the European Union to the United States.
I am also the creator and host of the podcast "Turning Chickens and Breaking Dishes" and a cooking instructor at Sur La Table and Tastemakers D.C.
Cooking The American Dream
Algarve is the place Chef Davide G. Martins calls home, with the nostalgia of someone who is almost six thousand kilometers away. His story in the kitchen is far from being a romance, but it ends with a 'and they lived happily ever after'.
Childhood memories hardly take him to the kitchen: he never did it with his grandparents and he is the first to claim that his mother is 'a terrible cook'. The passion for food started through television. British reality shows "Two Fat Ladies" and "Ready, Steady, Cook" made him want to experiment and create.
He ended up attending hospitality schools in Lisbon and Setúbal but it was already inside the kitchen, in his first experience as a professional, that he realized that cooking was much more than simply making dishes that were pleasing to the palate.
In the blink of an eye, before he could really understand how, he was on a plane to Washington DC, capital of the United States, to become the Chef of the Portuguese Embassy, where he stayed for four years. He took Portugal to America and beyond – he cooked for hundreds of guests from all over the world – and rediscovered his passion for the art of cooking. There are some big names in his list of guests: from Barack and Michelle Obama, to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, to various judges of the American Supreme Court, such as Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, to the former president of the Republic of Portugal, Aníbal Cavaco Silva.
At home, he takes off the Chef's coat, and he actually says that cooking is a job he's very passionate about, but only during the period when he's focused on trying to create the dish that best suits his guests.
It is precisely because he considers that there is a huge difference between a great Chef and a great Cook, that he believes that cooking is worrying beyond what is in the kitchen. It is knowing to whom he is cooking a particular dish for, it is knowing their history and trying to surprise through the flavors.
Today, it is at the European Union embassy in the United States of America that he tries to put this principle into practice as the Executive Chef. The objective, he says, is to manage, in such a formal environment, to disarm the guests and surprise them: it's not just cooking a paella for a group of Spaniards, it's knowing which city they are from and transporting them to the deepest memories of flavors and smells.
This is the kitchen of Chef Davide G. Martins: a kitchen of sensations.
Besides being a chef, he accumulates the position of teacher - it is definitely one of his greatest passions. He is the Chef Instructor at the Sur La Table cooking workshops in Virginia and at the Tastemakers in Washington DC.
In addition to all this, he is also the author of the podcast 'Turning Chickens and Breaking Dishes', in which, every week, he invites a personality to share his memories, his passions, and his relationship with food, already with names well known to the public, such as Phil Rosenthal, Jacques Pepin, Andrew Zimmern or Duff Goldman.
The long-term goal is to return to Portugal and teach everything he has learned over the past few years in the United States, where his American Dream is still very much alive in the kitchen he practices every day.
Volver de Carne y Alma Chakall
2011 – 2015
Executive Chef of the Portuguese Embassy in Washington D.C.
2015 – Present
Chef Instructor at Sur la Table in Alexandria, VA, and Bethesda, MD.
2015 – Present
Executive Chef at the European Union Delegation in Washington D.C.
Cooking Classes for Wounded Soldiers at USO Bethesda,MD.
2019 – Present
Chef Instructor at Tastemakers in Washington, D.C.
2020 – Present
Creator and host of the podcast ‘Turning Chickens and Breaking Dishes’