Cristina Martinez (chef)
Martinez is a native of Capulhuac, Mexico, and she is an undocument immigrant who crossed the border from Juárez into the United States. She found a job in Philadelphia as a pastry chef in an Italian restaurant, where she met and married Benjamin Miller, a U.S. citizen. Martinez was fired from the restaurant when they discovered her undocumented status, and she began cooking food for other Mexican workers in her apartment.
As demand grew for Martinez's home-made barbacoa, she and Miller began selling tacos from a pushcart on weekends. In 2015, they opened a permanent restaurant, South Philly Barbacoa. In 2016, Bon Appétit magazine named it one of the top ten best new restaurants in America.
Martinez and Miller are active in supporting undocumented immigrants in the restaurant industry, establishing an organization, the Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers' Rights. In 2017, Univision produced a Spanish-language podcast about Martinez, called Mejor vete, Cristina ("You Better Leave, Cristina"), which won Mejor Cobertura Multimedia (Best Multimedia Coverage) at the 2018 Ortega y Gasset Awards. Martinez was also featured on an episode of the Netflix series Chef's Table in 2018.
- Fuhrmeister, Chris (September 28, 2018). "'Chef's Table' Recap: Cristina Martinez Makes Taco Magic at South Philly Barbacoa". Eater.
- "One of the country's top chefs and her battle for undocumented immigrants". Univision. April 3, 2018.
- "An Undocumented Mexican Chef Runs One of the Country's Best New Restaurants". Bon Appétit. August 24, 2016.
- Hermann, Adam (March 27, 2019). "Marc Vetri, Cristina Martinez among six Philly finalists for 2019 James Beard awards". Philly Voice.