Daisy Maria Martinez was born in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York to mainland Puerto Rican parents, who shortly thereafter moved to her paternal grandmother’s house until she was five years old. Between her mother Conchita, and her grandmother Valentina, Daisy quickly learned that the kitchen is the heart of the home, filled with love, family and delicious, soul satisfying dishes. With an extended family of relatives from Central America, Spain and other parts of Latin America, Daisy grew up with an appreciation for the rich, diverse flavors of the Spanish speaking world.
After college, Daisy set her energies to raising a family, and after the youngest of her children entered school, Daisy attended the French Culinary Institute to study Culinary Arts, where she received first prize for her final project, The Passionate Palate. Upon graduation, Daisy worked as a prep- kitchen chef on the set of PBS’ Lidia’s Italian American Table, for her long time mentor, chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, as well as a private chef in New York City, and as the owner of a small, boutique catering business, also called The Passionate Palate.
In 2005 Daisy launched her new career with Daisy Cooks! On PBS, and her cookbook,Daisy Cooks! Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your World, which was an IACP nominee and American category Finalist, as well as the winner of the Best Latino Cuisine Cookbook in the World by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
As Daisy’s star ascended she met the iconic Rachael Ray at an event. This chance meeting lead to Ray’s production company, Watch Entertainment, producing Viva Daisy!, which debuted on the Food Network in January 2009.
In 2010 Daisy released two books, Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night, and Daisy’s Holiday Cooking which won first and second place respectively in the 2011 International Latino Book Awards. Witha continued focus on the plethora of delicious dishes from Latin America and Spain, Daisy features recipes that are user-friendly, delicious, and nutritious, while introducing us to the passionate flavors of her kitchen. In her continued quest to share her love of the Latin kitchen, Daisy launched her first show in Spanish, BORICUAS! on the Fox Mundo Network, Utilisima, with Chef Mario Pagan and Doreen Colandres, which brought the beautiful cuisine of Puerto Rico to light. In addition to her new TV show, Daisy also has contributed as columnist for Siempre Mujer, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Ser Padres and Selecciones magazines.
In 2012, she returned to ICC for the Intensive Sommelier Training. She is now also a Certified Sommelier with the Master Court of Sommeliers.