About Artisan Wholefoods


Jean Martinez

I think if you dig deep enough you will find the spark that put you on your path – the thing that became the reason for what you do. I  love working with food, and have worked with it in some way or another for my whole working life (over 20 years now!!). To begin with I did it because I liked it and it was easy. Along the way though as I muddled along working at vegetarian cafes and organic stores I came to a point in my early 20’s where I thought – Is this what I want to do?

It was around that time that I went to work for Jude Blereau in a gorgeous little organic café in an organic store in Perth, WA. Jude saw the spark in me and she took me under her wing and nurtured my potential. She also told me about an amazing Organic and Wholefoods Chef Training program at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in NY, and a year later I gathered my courage, the experience that I had gained up until that point (and some money, generously supplied by my family) and went to school.

Studying at the Natural Gourmet – and living in New York – were both fabulous experiences. I relished the rare opportunity to completely immerse myself in learning. It was fantastic to be able to cook, eat, think, ponder, work on, stress over and be inspired by something that you love to do. Another key experience of this time was being introduced to the work of Sally Fallon (and the Weston A. Price Foundation) and her ground breaking book Nourishing Traditions. Sally’s discussions around traditional diets and food wisdom – the kinds of animal and vegetable foods we should be eating (used to eat) – and how to prepare them – just made so much sense to me. Admittedly though, while I thought what she wrote was amazing and radical it still took me years to fully embrace the concept of traditional foods. (I fully believe that transitioning to a real foods diet can take time – especially as food and what we eat is so wrapped up with a mountain of marketing and food-science propaganda). Fast forward 14 years (and jobs in many areas of food – fine dining, to wedding cakes and fine pastries, both in Australia and in the USA) and while I have left behind working long hours in amazing kitchens in big cities – my passion for food is still going strong .

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