Ft. Lauderdale’s Steve Martorano Cooks Up Dishes On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Photo Credit: PaperBoy Media

On Wednesday, July 31st, award-winning Italian-American cook, restaurateur and author Steve Martorano will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, making his fifth appearance on the show. Known as “the Godfather of Italian-American cooking,” Martorano is the personality and mastermind behind Martorano’s Fort Lauderdale, a staple of the South Florida dining scene for more than two decades, and has since become a national food empire consisting of a series of beloved restaurants, from Martorano’s flagship location in Fort Lauderdale to concepts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  On Kimmel, Martorano will announce expansion into other markets and plans for the “Martorano Scholarship Foundation.”  Fort Lauderdale’s Martorano’s has served South Florida locals and tourists for 26 years, in addition to celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Flo Rida, Joe Montana, Jamie Foxx, Doug E Fresh, Ludacris, Vin Diesel, Kevin Hart and more.  Here, he sits down with Haute Living to give us the dish:

HL: What’s your key to maintaining such a successful business that has remained a timeless South Florida staple as the culinary industry has evolved over the years?

SM: Being consistent. Brands sometimes lower their standards as time goes on, while we work hard to always improve ourselves and give our guests the best ingredients available.

HL: Tell us about your upcoming appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

SM: This will be my fifth appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jimmy and I have a great relationship. I’m excited to be able to drop a new announcement of our latest concept and location and also to speak about our scholarship foundation.  

HL: What will the segment entail?

SM: I’m making linguine and clams, which is Jimmy’s favorite dish and happens to be mine also.

HL: What have been some of the most memorable moments of Martorano’s Fort Lauderdale’s history over the past two decades?

SM: Getting the opportunity to cook for both celebrities and everyday people. Watching their faces light up every time they eat our food is always a memorable occasion

HL: What’s one key element of hospitality that you feel often gets forgotten, that important to maintaining a business?

SM: The hello and the goodbye—a warm greeting and a fond farewell.

HL: Top tips for running your own business?

SM: Remembering that the customer is not always right and staying on top of the small details

HL: How does it feel to be one of the few South Florida cooks to appear on a late-night show?

SM: It’s always exciting to showcase Italian American comfort food on a national platform. 

HL: Do you have any future upcoming business endeavors within the next year?

SM: Lilly Cakes by my wife, Marsha, and the launch of a new concept—Martorano’s Prime—an Italian American steakhouse.

Greatest piece of advice for maintaining consistency within a restaurant?

Never doubt yourself.  Don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing. Continue to be creative and be a leader, not a follower.  

Jimmy Kimmel Live airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT on the ABC Television Network.