Chef Ronaldo Linares is the author of Sabores de Cuba: Diabetes Friendly Traditional and Nueva Cubano Cuisine and America’s leading expert on healthy Latino cooking. He is also the Chef/COO of Martinos Cuban Restaurant in Somerville, NJ. Over the last ten years he steadily grown the business with a militant style approach.
Ronaldo describes his cooking – and his approach to life – as Cuban-inspired, passion infused, and Ronaldo gives mas sabor to everything he does – as CEO and Executive Chef of his family’s restaurant: Martino’s Cuban Restaurant in Somerville, NJ, as a brand partner with Healthfirst, American Heart Association National Spokesperson for the Healthy for good campaign, AARP caregivers program and of course being a husband and a father.
He was born in Colombia during the turbulent Cartel wars of the 1980s, cooking has saved him in many ways and has been the main ingredient in Ronaldo’s journey from young immigrant to rebellious teen to successful chef and media personality.
While he first honed his knife skills as a teen clocking long hours in his family’s restaurant, Ronaldo’s “food voice” began to take shape while he was a Sergeant and Food Service Specialist in the Marines, serving 6000 men daily. There he learned about regional American food and began to infuse it with his Cuban sazon.
Following the Marines, Ronaldo enrolled in ICE (Institute for Culinary Education) in New York City, graduating with high honors.
In 2016, Ronaldo was named an Influencer of the Year by LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation & Social Media) and honored by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey as Culinary Person of the Year. Taking that momentum into 2017 he was able to do work with BMW, be a featured speaker and panelist at various conferences. He also had the great honor of being selected as a delegate for The Social Media Summit held at the United Nations.
Ronaldo has showcased his culinary style on Food Network’s Chopped, BBC America’s cross-country chef competition “Chef Race,” and appearances on WNBC, Fox News and Telemundo, ESPN radio “The Lockerroom 1050am”. He is a popular featured chef at live events including the Food Network’s “Food & Wine Festival,” Diabetes expo, the International Restaurant and Food Service Show and guest lectures at ICE.
Ronaldo would like to bring his experience on to the DSA board not only as a restaurant operator but one that understands what the people need and a relentless passion to execute those needs.
When not in the kitchen, Ronaldo is active in CrossFit as a Level 1 certified trainer and in the community, speaking to schools, youth groups and corporations about his life journey. How can he help you?