Martita Jara

Martita Jara

Martita is a chef, interior designer and Southern California native who now has made Dallas Texas her second home. She is best known for her appearance on Season 8 of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network where she landed a spot on Team Giada and most recently on OWN’s Home Made Simple! A food industry lifer, Martita grew up in the restaurant business, embracing her family's entrepreneurial spirit and helping to run their upstart restaurant, Jose's Mexican Food. Over the years they have expanded to 8 restaurants and are still growing strong in Riverside and San Bernardino County and are now looking to expand to other states!

Martita is a rare find with a year of culinary school at The Art Institute, a year of interior design at UCLA and a few years of business and communications between San Bernardino Valley College & BYU!

Being a jack of all trades has served Martita very well, as she's continued to thrive in the food industry while also working constantly as an interior designer. Her specialty is as a lifestyle designer who takes things beyond simple design, and helps clients out in other areas, usually in the kitchen. Riviera Magazine ran an exclusive feature on Martita in their April 2013 issue, highlighting her expertise as a lifestyle designer. Once she designs and decorates, she hosts a dinner party in the new space to show the client how it looks when the niceties of good food and good company are tied in with the newly improved space.

Being first generation in this country as well as the oldest of four girls to Jose and Martha Jara the importance of hard work and sacrifice was a constant in the Jara home and as fate would have it Martita began work at the age of 11 at her parent's nursery. They opened their first restaurant when Martita was 13 years old and was automatically transferred there and has never stopped working since! She loved to work then and still does now!

A master of Mexican flavors, her motto is to keep things simple, let the ingredients speak for themselves. She believes that meals shouldn't take all day to prepare, but rather, that with simple flavors anyone can master, delicious food is just minutes away. Her mentor at Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis noticed her talents immediately and loved Martita's fresh new take on traditional Mexican food. Since her turn on Food Network, she's been appearing more on television, including frequently visits to FOX 5 San Diego as well as the CW's San Diego Living. Additionally, media companies are lining up to book her for media tours as a culinary expert. With blossoming careers in both food and design, not to mention some national exposure, Martita is sure to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Featured Expert: Martita Jara

Meet chef Marita Jara! Food is her business! Marita discusses her biggest cooking challenges from dairy and gluten-free cookies to sugar-free barbecue sauce. It's all worth it for Martita when she brings families together to enjoy her food. Watch Martita on Home Made Simple on Saturdays at 9am/8c.