Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Chef Marita Lynn is a natural ambassador for Peruvian cuisine and culinary tradition in the United States. Growing up in a family that entertained frequently and with gusto, especially her grandmother, food has been woven into the fabric of Marita’s everyday life. As a child, she took part in neighborhood cooking clubs and she still has fond memories of creating ceviches for her family when she was only 14
Marita moved to the U.S. in 1991 and worked for Continental Airlines as a budget analyst. Although Marita’s career path took some twists and turns, intuitively she ended up going back to her roots, and her love of food and entertaining eventually led her to the food world. She attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City where she graduated with high honors. She then trained and worked at a number of highly regarded restaurants, including the acclaimed Jean Georges, Daniel Boulud’s Feast and Fetes Catering, Trump International Golf Club, The Ryland Inn and The Bernards Inn in New Jersey.
Deciding she not only wanted to cook but also create the entire event experience, Marita founded Catering by Maria as a full service event planning and catering company in 2004. The company catered to individuals and businesses in New York and New Jersey, with clients including E! Entertainment, Celebrity Designer Sam Fine, BBC Productions, L’Oreal, Charles Schwab and the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion. Marita also cooked during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival as part of the American Pavilion and has participated in Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation.”
Eager to share her culinary background, Marita started offering special all-Peruvian menus to her clients in 2008. Then she created Marita Lynn Catering which purpose is to provide amazing foods with a Peruvian Flair that are delicious and also good for her clients dietary needs.
In 2014 Chef Marita Lynn opened Runa Peruvian Cuisine in Red Bank, the only Peruvian restaurant in the Jersey Shore area. In less than a year, Runa Peruvian Cuisine has obtained many accolades such a 3 star review from the NJ Star Ledger and 4 Star review from the Examiner.com, along other great reviews and multiple articles in magazines such NJ Monthly, Industry Magazine, Vogue, Inside F&B and more. Runa Peruvian Cuisine has been called Best Diner’s Choice two times in a row and Neighborhood Gem by Open Table and by critic’s choice best Latin American Restaurant in New Jersey Monthly Magazine.
The multifaceted cuisine of Peru, one of the world’s most varied and delicious, has been heavily influenced by Incan, European (Spanish, Basque, Italian, French), African and Asian elements that reflect its history and colonial past. Dating back at least six thousand years and boasting the most diverse crops (4,000 varieties of potatoes, 2,000 of fish), Peruvian food combines flavors of four continents. Tapped as the “next big cuisine” in the past few years (including by Bon Appétit magazine), it is poised to finally get the attention – and champion – it deserves.
Chef Marita Lynn is a member of various business and food associations such Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Savor the Success and a big supporter of charity foundations along the Jersey Shore and New York City. She has become an advocate of change through food, inspiring others to follow their dreams as well as being involved in leadership and personal development. She is currently back to catering and her blog My Kitchen Intuition, she also plans to launch her own internet show in 2018.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her two children Matt and Aly.