Martin Dobr, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, has cooked for the stars, traveled and worked around the world, and been involved in the restaurant business for over 40 years. For the past several years he has had the 175-seat restaurant at The Long Bay Resort where he serves breakfast fare and upscale dinners. Nighttime menu items include Escargot Crostini, Scallop Cakes, Veal Cromley, Roast Duckling, and Wiener Schnitzel.
The iconic caricature of Martin was drawn when he catered a meal in Beverly Hills for Joe Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s exercise manager, and the words “Specially for You,” which is his trademark slogan, was initiated at that same party.
Martin has been a member of the Le Chaine des Rotisseurs Society since 1988. This prestigious society was established in 1248. Martin attended school through ninth grade in Prague, then completed a three-year chef apprenticeship at a Prague hotel. At age 17, he was drafted into the Czechoslovakian Air Force, where he worked as a cook for 2 ½ years. In 1968, Warsaw Pact forces rolled into the country with tanks, and Martin fled the country.
Martin went first to Austria, then Canada, where Martin’s flair for cooking only grew. After three years, they decided Canada was too cold and without having jobs lined up, moved to Hawaii in 1971. Martin got a job as a chef at a hotel. After two years, Hawaii began to feel small, so Martin went to Los Angeles, where he was a chef at a German restaurant. An opportunity arose for a job at a new hotel in Juneau, Alaska, so he did that for a year before returning to L.A. Next came a stint as a chef at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel before Martin formed a catering company that had movie industry clients.
A writers’ strike, Martin said, put the catering company out of business, so the men went to Greenville and opened a fine dining restaurant called The Fishmarket. In 1982, they opened a second location in Charlotte, NC. After four years, the partners went their separate ways. Martin took over the Greenville restaurant; Rott got the Charlotte location. In 1989, they reunited to open The Fishmarket in Little River, where Chianti South is now located. That lasted one season, then Martin had a series of jobs as a chef at a local hotel, Thoroughbred’s and Finn McCool’s.
Martin started Martin’s Restaurant in 1993 and continues to serve exquisite cuisine to this day!