Chef Martina Russial

Martina Russial took over as executive chef in the spring of 2020 and she’s excited to continue the style she’s cultivated at Glasshalfull.

Since 2016, when she became chef de cuisine, and for four years before that as pastry chef, Martina has been creating menu items using the wide variety of local ingredients from farmers and growers in Carrboro and the surrounding areas. She’s developed relationships with local charities by participating in events such as Sweet Night Out with the Duke Cancer Center, A Tasteful Affair with the Ronald McDonald House, Farm to Fork with The Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and Pepperfest with Abundance NC.

Cooking has always been a passion for Martina, and with parents who taught and encouraged her to explore her love of cuisine, she began her culinary education at a young age. Making pies and ravioli with her father and rolling dolmades and Swedish meatballs with her mother helped Martina develop a taste for international cuisine that she further developed at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon.

At Glasshalfull, she has incorporated this love of international cooking in the menu items and weekly specials she creates. Many of the dishes she crafts have Mediterranean roots, but it isn’t unusual to see elements from all over the world or even a little closer to home.

The most important thing about cooking for Martina is how food makes her, and those who eat her food, feel. Desserts like her dark chocolate sea salt budino and warm fruit crumbles with vanilla bean ice cream bring about nostalgia; duck cassoulet and braised beef short ribs offer comfort; and thai curry soups and miso glazed striped bass provide a little adventure.

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