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Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, Martinez-Riquelme grew up five blocks from Yankee Stadium and opened a pool hall right out of high school with his mother. He also launched a bar, with a partner, by age 21. That led to working for Tito Puente — musician, songwriter, and record producer — at his NYC restaurant, after which Martinez-Riquelme progressed to other corporate restaurant-bar jobs in Times Square and Miami. An experience as a salesperson at a major Southeast food-service-distribution company taught him that he preferred the bar world best — and Martinez-Riquelme joined Kimpton Hotels & Resorts in 2011. “That is when I really started to appreciate the craft side of bartending, seeing it as the other half of the kitchen,” explains Martinez-Riquelme.

More about Car Riquelme

What is your ultimate comfort food?: Since we are talking about a Mixologist, my favorite drink would be what I have been making a lot of now which is "Whistle while you work". It is: Whistle Pig Rye St Elizabeth All Spice Dram Cranberry Angostura Bitters Whistle Pig Maple Syrup Lime Juice If you weren't a chef, what would you be?: I would be a computer engineer What three things are always in your pantry?: 3 things that are always in my bar: Whistle Pig, Solerno Blood Orange, Fernet Branca If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?: Dale DeGroff