Martha Ortiz

Waiting around a hot kitchen having already set up was quite an experience. Usually places of manic movements, shouting chefs and steamy saucepans, the shiny new kitchens of Ella Canta at the Intercontinental Park Lane were more reminiscent of a calming sauna environment that day…except in stainless steel, so more of a space sauna. Also, I didn’t quite feel comfortable enough to kick off my shoes and drape myself over the work surface to achieve full relaxation mode. To my delight, Mexican chef Martha Ortiz showed no such restraint when she arrived. Modelling her self designed, fashion forward chef jackets, her vitality bubbled fun into what had been a still kitchen just an hour before.
Slipping into yoga poses on work surfaces with the ease of a lithe cat, toying powerfully with knives and limes, and proudly collating her new kitchen team to pose in the background for another shot, her energy was utterly intoxicating, giving me insight as to how creative and considered the cuisine will be when the restaurant opens this month.