"Im the most famous cook, that nobody knows."
From Humbled Beginnings
Growing up in South Philly, many would have thought Steve Martorano didn’t stand much of a chance for more than going into the family business. With his father making only $166 a week and his uncle in the mob, Steve knew one thing – he didn’t want either of those options for himself. But what was he to do? School was never his strong suit, so he set out on his own journey to success, but not without a few failures along the way. The failures only made him stronger and more determined to show the world what he is made of.
After spinning records for a few years as a DJ in the 70s, Steve opened up his first delivery sandwich shop from his mohers basement. He was a one-man show with an increasingly popular business. His sandwiches became such a hit in South Philly that Martorano outgrew his space and opened a take out restaurant in a strip mall. Here Martorano made pizza, sandwiches, pasta dishes and homemade water ice. A few years later, the demand outgrew his location again, and Martorano moved to a freestanding, sit down restaurant. In the early 90s, the US economy took a turn for the worst and Steve lost everything. He knew it was time for a change.
In 1993, he moved to Ft. Lauderdale with merely $40 to his name and opened a new restaurant on Oakland Park Boulevard – Café Martorano. Now, Café Martorano has become a worldwide sensation. The restaurant chain has expanded into four locations – the original one on Oakland Park Boulevard, one at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vega, at Harrahs Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey and one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Martorano brand has also launched a wine label, pasta sauces, a Yo Cuz! apparel line, jewelry line, a self published book “Yo Cuz! My Life, My Food, My Way and his second book “It Ain’t Sauce, It’s Gravy… How Food Saved my Life” published by Knopf. Steve Martorano has raised the bar for the restaurant industry. The “Godfather of Italian-American cooking” has taken the craft of cooking to new levels through a dream, persistence, and hard work. With his self-taught talent, Steve has created a venue in which as owner he is the cook, the DJ and the operator. The Martorano restaurants offer a unique atmosphere that combines exceptional food with extraordinary music and movies. This rare environment has allowed Martorano to create an ambiance that attracts clientele ranging from locals to the sexy, hip crowd to some of entertainment’s hottest celebrities. Martorano's has even been featured on television shows such as The Real Housewives of Miami and Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? and the Jimmy Kimmel show, just to name a few. Steve's rags to riches business has become a restaurant which possess a modern and cool atmosphere while maintaining that welcome-to-the-family vibe - a rare find.
“Steve, I've been eating all over Sicily and Italy for a month and you're still the best! You are gifted my friend ”
Without having his own network television show, you can always catch Steve appearing on many talk show across the country such as: Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Fablife, Good Morning America with Kathie Lee & Hoda, The Paula Deen Show, The Mo'Nique show, The Joan and Melissa show, The Housewives of Miami, Extra with Mario Lopez and the list goes on and on. Not to mention he has his own web series "Yo Cuz! The Italian - American Cook! Check out many of his latest apperances below.