Chef Jose Marty
Owner / Executive Chef of LoCo Kitchen
Chef Jose Covers All the Culinary Bases
“Food should be approachable and exciting at the same time. My aim is to create foods that people are familiar with but add a few twists to make it memorable.”
Sometimes it takes a profound event – like a pandemic – to give you a new view on life. And that’s just what happened to Chef Jose Marty. After a 20-year run with one of Northern Virginia’s top caterers and event venues, Chef Jose opened LoCo Kitchen in December 2020.
What is your guilty pleasure snack?
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato, Kit Kat Bars (“The ratio of chocolate to wafer is perfection.”, Peanut M&Ms
What was your favorite meal growing up?
Lechón asado y Arroz con Gandules (Spanish title)
Puerto Rican spit-roasted pig (over hardwood coals) and rice with pigeon peas (English)
What’s the one condiment you can’t live without?
Sriracha Hot Sauce – “I put it on everything – except desserts!
Most Essential Element in Your Kitchen:
“By far, my kitchen employees. They are the true backbone of my operation.”
Food is Art for Chef Jose
Along with catering, Chef Jose is hard at work launching a “meals to go” program, developing a Custom Food Services division for fellow culinary pros, and creating a line of all-natural, healthy food products. Chef recently took a break to give Taste of Blue Ridge readers an update on his new business venture.
“Experiencing this global pandemic gave me a new perspective,” says Chef Jose. “Who am I? What do I want to achieve?” Continues the chef, “Creating something new, implementing a sound strategic growth plan and managing all aspects of a new venture became very appealing to me. With the love and support of my family, I dove in head first.”
“I will always look back at my tenure at Celebrations as an integral part of my evolution and growth both personally and professionally. It was a great 20+ years. (But) I was ready to challenge myself to the fullest by drawing from all my experiences and creating a multi-faceted company with diversified recurring revenue streams, with an emphasis on catering.”
Catering – the “DNA” of LoCo Kitchen
Continuing the tradition of excellence, catering is LoCo Kitchen’s primary focus. “Catering will always be in my DNA,” says Marty. “ We’ll continue to provide the Northern Virginia area with full-service catering that surpasses our clients’ expectations with amazing food and attentive service. And we’ll continue to source the freshest ingredients possible from as close to home as possible.”
In addition to catering private events, LoCo Kitchen is also the exclusive caterer for events at Lost Barrel Brewing in Middleburg. The brewery is also a cornerstone account for LoCo Kitchen. “We have a very strong complementary relationship. We share common goals in business and philosophies with food,” explains Chef Jose.
“LoCo Kitchen creates all their (the brewery’s) menus and food items, trains and provides staff to operate their kitchen, manages inventory levels and rotation, and delivers all their food,” describes Marty. Lost Barrell and LoCo Kitchen also share an herb and vegetable garden that includes tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, green beans and cucumbers. “They teach me about beer and I teach them about food,” says the chef.
Covering All the Culinary Bases
But LoCo Kitchen is more than just a catering company. Marty is also launching LoCo Kitchen on the Go, featuring regionally inspired, seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients. And plans are also in the works for a line of healthy and all-natural sauces, dressings, protein bars/snacks, hors d’oeuvres, entrees, and smoked meats. To round out the business, LoCo Kitchen has a Custom Food Services division that provides menu development, kitchen design, and staff training to other caterers and restaurateurs.
Throughout Chef Jose’s business model, you’ll find “real” food. “The first step is to educate the client on the genuine value of locally sourced food – and to be flexible. Due to the nature of catering (purchasing today for an event 10-12 months in advance), a client may be limited to what foods are available at the time of their event.”
Explains Marty, “ I emphasize the sustainability aspect as much as the flavor and nutritional aspects of making such impactful choices. And by advocating for our farmers and educating my clients, I get ‘buy in’ which increases demand for me to purchase from local sources.”
“I want to showcase the highest quality local and regional ingredients while creatively layering their flavor profiles and varied textures. Food should be approachable and exciting at the same time. My aim is to create foods that people are familiar with but add a few twists to make it memorable.”