Luis Martinez


Years of Participation

2016-2017, 2023

Luis Martinez
Owner/Founder, Tequio Foods + Chef Consultant

Luis Martinez hails from a small Zapotec pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he grew up to study Fine Arts at the state university while working in kitchens around Oaxaca City. He also contributed to social justice efforts in indigenous communities, which turned politically dangerous and prompted him to seek asylum the US in 2005. Martinez's assimilation into the US is not unlike the harsh reality of many migrant farm workers. He eventually found his way back to the kitchen in Los Angeles, where he honed his cooking techniques and methodologies working alongside Oaxacan chefs, and deepened his connection to Oaxacan cuisine and culture.

Martinez moved to North Carolina in 2012 and founded Tequio Foods in 2021, which works directly with Mexican farmers and cooperatives to import unique heritage food products to East Coast US-based companies and chefs in a manner that supports independent indigenous Mexican farmers and their ancestral techniques and foodways.

Today, Martinez is a US citizen based in Asheville, North Carolina, where he operates Tequio Foods and serves as a chef, advocate, and consultant for Oaxacan gastronomy.  Charleston Wine + Food attendees will get to sample fresh traditional Oaxacan cuisine by Martinez.