chef-name: Marty Blitz

Marty Blitz was born in New York and raised in Detroit. At age 12 he would ride his bike to the local deli, secreting recipes for “the classics” as he went. He worked his way to a prestigious American Culinary Federation apprenticeship under Executive Chef Milos Cihelka at Detroit’s Golden Mushroom. Chef Milos was one of the first European Master Chefs to be honored in the U.S. Under Chef Cihelka, Marty Blitz studied for three years, then moved to Tampa, Florida to work another 4+ years at RG’s North.

In 1986, he and his wife Maryann started a small catering business called Mise en Place, primarily for the guest artists at Ruth Eckerd Hall, like Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Neville Brothers and the DUKES of Dixieland. A year later they opened up for lunch, then dinner down the road. Now located in Grand Central Place, including a banquet hall in what was once Lafayette Bank, the restaurant is part of a three story building beside Snow Park, once considered the world’s smallest city park by the Guinness Book of World Records.

In January 1996, Great Chefs Television showed up to tape Chef Blitz preparing a Smoked Scotch Bonnet Jerk Spice Mahi Mahi for their Great Chefs of the South series, and a Florida Lobster Cassoulet and a Mojo Sabayon for their Great Chefs of America series.

Since then, Chef Blitz and his partners have expanded their restaurant group to MoJo, SONO Café at the Tampa Museum of Art, and is under contract for a restaurant at the Tampa International Airport. And he is still racking up awards from the James Beard Foundation, New World Cuisine Festival, and the Taste of the NFL. Chef Blitz is always called on for fund raisers like SOS (Share Our Strength) and Taste of the Nation.