UPDATE: Services are as follows:
Rosary will be Wed at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Thomas Aquinas Church 6306 Kenwood. Dallas, TX 75214
“Matt Martinez was a pioneer in the restaurant industry and made invaluable contributions to advancing the business interests of restaurateurs in North Texas and statewide throughout his career,” said GDRA Executive Director Jamee Green. “His wife Estella and their family are in our thoughts and prayers. Matt will be missed by all of his dear friends in the restaurant community.”
“I have been fortunate to know Matt Martinez, Jr. for more than 30 years, thanks to his involvement in the Texas Restaurant Association,” said Richie Jackson, TRA executive vice president/CEO. “While countless Texans enjoyed his pioneering cuisine, the Association benefited tremendously from his vision, enthusiasm and willingness to share his extensive knowledge of the restaurant business. I have always enjoyed my association with Matt and will miss his entertaining stories and strong support of the Association and the Texas restaurant industry.”
Mr. Martinez owned Matt”s Rancho Martinez restaurants in Lakewood and Cedar Hill and family-owned restaurants in Austin. He authored several cookbooks on Tex Mex cooking and served many dignitaries, including both former Presidents Bush and former President Lyndon B. Johnson and their wives. He also is known for introducing Julia Child to the Texas Chicken Fried Steak.
Mr. Martinez served as Texas Restaurant Association State Director from 1992 through 1995. He served on the TRA Executive Committee from 2000 to 2002 and Greater Dallas Chapter President from 1996 to 1997. He was inducted into the TRA Hall of Honor in June, 2000. Mr. Martinez was awarded the Lone Star Award for Culinary Achievement in 2007.