For over a decade, I ran Cookie Martinez, a catering company specializing in empanadas, hosting various events and participating in farmers’ markets in Toronto, Canada. As a member of the Future Food Salon since 2013, I have also been at the forefront of using insects as a sustainable source of food.
My journey with Cookie Martinez began by selling cookies from The Depanneur to cafes around the city and eventually led to opening a food shipping container at Market 707.
In 2019, I expanded my business to focus more on catering and opened a new location at The Junction Triangle. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, I continued to operate as a take-out service and built a wonderful community in the neighborhood.
However, after much thought and with my husband and two-year-old son, I have made the difficult decision to move to Germany, where my husband’s family resides, in order to be closer to them and have additional support.
I am grateful to all the amazing customers who have supported me and helped me grow my business over the years
From Passion to Plate: A Food Journey from The Depanneur to The Junction Triangle
When I met Len Senater in 2012, I started by renting his kitchen to bake my goods and expanding to selling them to different cafes and participating in farmers’ markets and events across Toronto.
At Market 707 proved to be the perfect launchpad for my Colombian food venture. Despite its small 8×10 footprint, it provided the opportunity to expand my business and gain recognition from new customers. It was an affordable and strategic move that set the foundation for the success of my Cookie Martinez.
The Junction Triangle was the ideal location to bring my culinary vision to life. With limited seating for a select few, I was able to focus on expanding my catering business and showcasing my Empanada offerings and Insect Tasting Dinners. The intimate setting allowed me to create a unique dining experience for my customers while also growing my business.
A highlighting sample of my work using insects as a protein source in various dishes
In 2013, I was approached by Aruna Handa, the creator of Alimentary Initiatives and founder of the Future Food Salon, to create cookies using insects. I was immediately interested in the unique challenge and have been a part of the Future Food Salon ever since, expanding my insect-based menu to include dishes like spicy cricket spoons and mealworm empanadas. Through the Future Food Salon, I have had the opportunity to showcase my culinary creations, as well as food, art, music, culture, and science, at events in Toronto, Montreal, and New York.
As I worked with insects, I began to create cookies using crickets and savory amuse-bouches. As I learned more about the educational and nutritional value of eating insects, I decided to integrate them more fully into my dishes rather than simply using them as toppings. It was important to me to use only plant-based ingredients in my insect recipes and not include any animal byproducts
Get ready to cook up a storm with the latest addition to your kitchen – an insect cookbook! With simple and fun recipes, you’ll be able to easily incorporate insects into your meals. Keep your eyes peeled for its release this year and experience a new way of cooking !!!