Grace Martinez | Head Cook

From Ecuador

What is your role in the Salty Souls Experience ? 

I am the head chef in our Ecuador destination. My role is to plan and prepare creative meals to fuel the girls all week long! I love using local ingredients to make them discover some of the Ecuadorian specialities with an healthy twist, as well as play with colors and flavors!

What’s your background and how did you acquire those skills ? 

Some years ago, I had a small restaurant on the beach here in Ecuador, where I was mostly in charge of the management, but there were times when I had to get in to the kitchen and help out! Eventually, I got experienced with cooking for big groups and under pressure. I truly enjoyed it!

Otherwise, also love to cook for my friends at my house for special occasions like New years or just Sunday BBQ :). When the Saltyz started looking for a local girl to join the team, it felt like a perfect match and amazing opportunity.

What’s your biggest challenge within the Salty Souls Experience ? 

My greatest challenge at Salty Souls is crafting an appealing menu that caters to all dietary needs and restrictions, while maintaining a focus on our vegetarian offerings. I enjoy the creative process of transforming traditional Ecuadorian and local dishes into vegetarian-friendly options.

Additionally, I prioritize the visual presentation of our dishes, believing that aesthetics are as crucial as taste. Creating visually appealing dishes adds complexity to menu development, as I strive to ensure that each dish is not only delicious but also visually stunning.

Ninja super skill people don’t know you possess ? 

I’m a cat whisperer… I LOVE cats and for some reason I think they like me too, always end up petting and playing with any stray or someone furry friend.

Favorite place in the world ?

The beach. But it has to be a beach with rideable waves, not too big, not too small… I love the feeling of being in the water, waiting for the wave, and surfing one… is the best feeling ever! It makes me so happy, and I feel like it has thought me so much about patience, passion and being humble.

What gets you the most excited in life ? 

I get suuuuper exited when I’m about to travel to a different country, explore, get to know new cultures, people, new waves… I think I grow a little every time I go to a new place.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Mmm theres so many things that come to my mind like doing downhill in Venezuela with no protection at all when everybody was wearing all the right protective gear :/.  I hurt myself very bad that time haha!  Trying to surf big waves in Galapagos when I clearly didn’t have the level but didn’t wanted to stay in land watching the show when I could be out there…  But Maybe the craziest was when I  was the crazy cat lady… I had 13 cats all rescued from the street… found home for most of the and end up keeping 4!