• Gallery

  • Cuttlefish & Artichokes

    with Almond Aioli and Truffle

  • Suckling Pig

    Cooked at 65 degrees celsius for 24 hours, with apple sauce and ginger

  • Juan José Soria

    Pours a glass of Manzanilla sherry

  • Artwork at Lienzo

    Custom artwork made from tablecloths and plastic utensils

  • Cheesecake

    with graham crackercrumbs, strawberry ice cream and blueberry marmalade

Lienzo

Chef María José Martínez was practically born into the Farm to Table movement.   Growing up in the countryside surrounding Murcia, she watched her family make their own butter, cheese, chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage).  From those humble beginnings her culinary development has followed a natural trajectory with some of Spain’s most famous locavores.  Her first professional post was at Murcia’s Hosteleria Palacete Rural la Seda, where Jose Carlos Fuentes taught her how to garden and forage for edible flowers.   From there, she spent one and a half years under slow food advocate Xavier Sala at Cafe 1907, in Barcelona, and a year with Quique DaCosta at El Poblet.

Maria_Jose_Martinez

Chef María José Martínez, 31

Today, at Lienzo, Martínez is serving up some of Valencia’s finest seasonal cuisine, which is both innovative and authentic. Her husband and business partner, Juan José Soria, curates a small, but impressive wine list, presenting a perfect pairing for each course.  The selection of “gastrotapas” is available in a variety of tasting menus or a la carte.  Try the Cuttlefish with Almond Aioli and Truffle, briny and rich in it’s own ink.  Washed down with a mineral-y Godello, from the cool region of Valdeorras, the combination captures the very essence of the sea.   The suckling pig, slow cooked in olive oil for 24 hours at 65 degrees celsius is perfectly succulent,  and garnished with a savory-sweet combo of apple sauce and ginger.  Paired with a classic Rioja, you’ll forget any inhibitions you once had about eating baby animals.

Dessert is no less eventful.  Maria Jose’s Cheesecake, is a triumphant do-over of the overly rich and often stodgy original. Abandoning the classic filling and crust format, she forms cylinders out of a light and creamy cheeses with pastry gel, and serves with house made “graham cracker” crumbs, strawberry ice cream, and blueberry marmalade.   Black Lemon, a gold dusted bar of dark chocolate ganache, seasoned with aromatic, Turkish black-lemon powder, is decadent, and seductively exotic.

 

Black Lemon

Chocolate Mousse bar seasoned with Black Lemon powder

 

A Quick Interview with Maria Jose.

Q:  What do you eat when you’re not working?

A:  In my home I eat simple things…I like to buy good bread and make a sandwich.

Q:  What was your favorite childhood meal?

A: Garlic soup, by my grandmother. 

Q:  If you could spend a day cooking with another chef, who would it be?

A: Grant Achatz. (Alinea, Chicago)

Q: Favorite Band?

A: Queens of the Stone Age.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve in the kitchen.

A: I hate powdered cinnamon and dried coconut.

Q: Is there an ingredient that you’re currently obsessed with?

A: Black Lemon.  It’s fermented lime.  In the summer we went to Turkey, and I was passing the spice market, and I smelled a different thing…I said ‘what is this’?  I thought, ‘this would be good with chocolate.’  Now I make a dessert here in the restaurant with Black Lemon and chocolate. 

Q: What do you like the most about Valencia?

A: It’s not as big as Barcelona, but not so small like Murcia, and it’s got the beach, the river, the people!