Accumulating four-stars and being named Chef of the Year by Chicago Tribune marked Anthony Martin’s first year as executive chef at renowned Progressive French restaurant Tru. His presentations, described by Phil Vettel as “so visually stunning that it seems crude to disturb their perfection for something so prosaic as eating,” have caught Chicago’s attention, with flavor combinations further described by Vettel as “maddeningly subtle, driving over-analytical foodies to despair.” Since then, Martin has been named a Rising Star by Restaurant & Hospitality and has been covered extensively by the media.
Martin’s first and fondest memory of cooking was helping his great-grandmother and mother bake during the Christmas season in his native Ohio. With a talent for drawing and painting, however, and after receiving several scholarship offers, he poised himself to enroll in art school. The desire to cook was too strong, however, and he soon joined the Pennsylvania Culinary School in order to channel his innate creativity into a culinary career. After graduation, Martin landed his first professional kitchen job at the Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland. Next, he headed south to Atlanta where he worked for chef Gunter Seeger at his namesake restaurant, where he worked his way up to sous chef. Four years later, opportunity came knocking from the direction of Las Vegas, where he lent his skills to Alex Stratta’s opening team at Alex in the Wynn Resort and Casino. Soon after he secured the executive sous chef position opening the celebrated restaurant Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand, which was awarded Three Michelin Stars. Finally, in 2008, Martin brought his considerable experience to Chicago to work at Tru, overseeing savory and pastry at the renowned restaurant.
In 2012 Tru Restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star.
- Michelin Star, 2012 - Tru
- 5 diamonds, 2013 - American Automobile Association
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words...
Striving to blow guests away.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Nature. The changing of seasons direct both the use of ingredients and also the presentations at Tru. Currently my English Pea Soup is inspired by fields of blooming lavender.
If you could take a plan ride to anywhere in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Tokyo. There is a tremendous amount of culture and history behind the cuisine, which I find very influential.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
Bottled water, my chihuahua Deebo, a MacBook with Internet. Why? I'm very into fitness and I strive to drink as much water as possible each day. Deebo is truly my best friend. And I chose my Macbook with Internet because it’s unlimited entertainment and endless information. It keeps me connected with the world.
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