Blind chef celebrates 1-year anniversary of her Lincoln Park restaurant
CHICAGO (WGN TV) -- Cancer robbed chef Laura Martinez of her sight at 1 year old.
But her love of food wooed her into her mother's kitchen as a child, and then to Chicago six years ago to enroll at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school.
She admits her career path has been anything but easy, trying to convince staff she knew her way around the kitchen, even though she couldn't see.
But quitting was not an option.
In 2010, on the cusp of graduation, chef Martinez got her break: A meeting with the late chef Charlie Trotter turned into a dream job.
See photos of Martinez:
She found herself in a tough spot again after Trotter's restaurant closed down and despite her experience, was turned by potential employers because of her blindness.
That's when she decided to open her own restaurant, La Diosa, or "The Goddess," in Lincoln Park.
This week she's celebrating La Diosa's 1-year anniversary.
Martinez says she can't take all the credit for its success. While she's focused on taste, her husband of five years focuses on the look of the dishes.
They work side-by-side everyday and plan a bigger, brighter future and hoping to make a difference for others.