Cari Martens has been a chef with The Food Channel since 2006. In that role, she has been a part of developing hundreds of original recipes as well as working with major food companies to showcase their products. Trained in culinary arts, she graduated from Columbia College in Chicago and has taken continuing education classes at the Culinary Institute of America, in addition to working for a number of years under the tutelage of experienced development chefs.
Martens regularly contributes to the Annual Food Trend Reports which continually place in the top Google rankings.
As part of a team that analyzes and reports food trends for The Food Channel, she serves as the lead culinary researcher with the dedicated goal of exploring the intersection of food and culinary trends. As part of the culinary staff at Noble Communications, she has worked with some of the world's leading food brands, creating new menu items for some of America's most recognizable restaurant groups. She has, concurrently, used her knowledge of sustainable food trends as a consultant to leading manufacturers and many of the nation's top restaurant chains and independent operators.
Cari has paid her dues in the culinary world as well, spending several years as a self-described "starving actress" while working a day job in foodservice as a hostess/server/bartender, and eventually opening and managing a restaurant.
She now shares her passion for food and culture with The Food Channel's online viewers, logging many hours in front of the camera as well as in behind-the-scenes production. Her latest series, "Now Get in the Kitchen," was titled after she playfully ended a segment with that phrase, making everyone feel as though they, too, could create great food for their families!
Proving herself more cook than baker, she says, "Recipes are meant to inspire. In my opinion, they are made to be broken and molded to inpidual tastes and moods." Those watching her show, then, can be comfortable with taking the recipes she demonstrates and making them their own.
Chef Cari has a plethora of four-legged "kids" and a loving husband; they live quietly on the banks of a river, where she's most likely to be found creating a beautiful salad and a homemade sauce for her favorite Italian foods.