“I am there!” was Martha’s immediate reply when Andres approached her with the idea of opening a true Venezuelan taguarita in Boston. After much brainstorming, Martha and Andres threw their first “Arepa Tasting Party” for a select group of friends in 1995. Amazingly, It was held at a friend’s home on Shawmut Avenue, right across the street from Orinoco’s current South End location. The group comprised the first hands-on-arepas focus group.
Martha patted the cornmeal dough into small patties and filled each with traditional arepa fillings. A zesty aroma filled the apartment as plates were served -- and the first critics were wowed! From then on, it was only a matter of time.
Martha, a Caracas native, coincidentally moved to Boston at the same time as Andres, also to attend Boston University. While working as a full-time financial executive, she played a key role in the challenging early stages of creating and opening our first two kitchens. Countless hours were spent reviewing, analyzing, projecting and refining plans as well as scraping and painting ceilings and walls. With the opening of our Harvard Square kitchen, Martha is now a full-time Orinoco leader and is thrilled to be living la vida arepa every day!
Martica, as she’s affectionately called, has an infectious energy. She grew up in a family where music provided a constant backdrop. Any gathering, from a dinner to a party, was an excuse to turn up the music and dance. She brings that spark to Orinoco. In the dining room, she’s been known to get up and grab a friend, server, or total stranger, and start dancing. Merengue, salsa, or disco, she’s an Orinoco star attraction.
Marta’s favorite Orinoco dishes include the arepa Reina Pepiada, Churasquito with crab picadillo (arroz and caraotas on the side!), and the Passionfruit spare ribs.