Daisy Martinez was born to mainland Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, New York, where she lived at her grandmother’s house until she was almost five years old. From her grandmother, Valentina, and her mother, Conchita, Daisy learned an appreciation of Latin cuisine. She attended Long Island University, where she met her husband.
Before becoming a TV chef, Daisy was an actress and model. She became the Martinez Valero Girl for the Spanish shoe company by the same name. Daisy appeared in American commercials for Ford, and in Spanish-language commercials for AT&T. She has also appeared in Carlito’s Way and Scent of a Woman.
In 1998, Daisy enrolled at The French Culinary Institute, where she won first prize for her final project, "The Passionate Palate". Shortly after graduation, Daisy worked on the set of PBS' Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen as a prep-kitchen chef, and as a private chef in New York City, which she did for three years. In addition, Daisy managed a small catering business, "The Passionate Palate", which she continues to operate.
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