11 Things You Didn’t Know About Aarón Sánchez

by in Shows, May 29th, 2013

Aaron SanchezYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

In addition to his judging duties on Chopped, Aarón Sánchez is the co-host of Food Network’s Heat Seekers with Roger Mooking. But when he’s not appearing on TV, Aarón is the chef/owner of Kansas City’s Mestizo and the culinary visionary behind Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide and Tacombi Taqueria in New York City. Aarón is also the author of two cookbooks, including Simple Food, Big Flavor. But what you might not have known about Aarón is that if he hadn’t become a chef, he might have been a mariachi singer. Find out more interesting facts about Aarón in his Q&A.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Aarón Sánchez: Really old, fermented cheeses, like an aged goat or sheep cheese. It dominates and saturates your palate and it’s hard to get past.

What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
AS: Green bell peppers. I like red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers, but green bell peppers just don’t taste like much of anything.

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
AS: One of my most memorable meals was Lespinasse in New York, when Gray Kunz was the chef. I had the loup de mer, roasted artichokes and opal basil — I’ve never had a broth with so many beautiful and intense flavors layered in. It was one of the first really fancy restaurants I ever went to; I remember the chairs being far away from the table and there was no background music.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?
AS: The Parker House Rolls at John Dory in the Ace Hotel

Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
AS: Fresh pastas

What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
AS: Japanese mandoline

If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
AS: Mariachi singer

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
AS: New Orleans

What’s your favorite late-night snack?
AS: Wine and chocolate

What’s one must-have at your last supper?
AS: Roasted Chicken from Zuni Café, San Francisco

Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
AS: Chef John Besh

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Tea
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Sprinkles

Get to Know the Rest of the Judges:
Alex Guarnaschelli
Amanda Freitag
Chris Santos
Geoffrey Zakarian
Maneet Chauhan
Marc Murphy
Marcus Samuelsson
Scott Conant

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Comments (30)

  1. Kim C says:

    I like Aaron and I like the show. But…he should be careful with comments about race. On the episode "Walk on the Whelk Side", he commented a contestant had "gringoed" up a recipe as a criticism. I personally think it is in poor taste in light of Paula Dean and other racial issues we still seem to have going on. I have thick skin, and I think it is way over dramatized about racial comments in our society. Still, fair is fair. If he can use the term gringo, why couldn't he be called a Spic. Would it offend him? I am not offended by being called whitey, cracker, red neck or any of those terms. I just think of them as descriptive. Other people might not be as forgiving.

    • Mike says:

      You hit the nail right on the head Kim! I used to be a big fan of chopped but hardly watch it anymore
      because of his comments.

    • MackieJ says:

      wow! I"m surprised to hear this. I really liked him until I heard this. I feel disappointed he would make a comment like that. Very racist.

  2. FishLoves says:

    It is unfortunate that a chef that claims to be, and is presented by foodnetwork as, a "Latin cuisine authority" would misrepresent Pisco as being Chilean. Pisco has been made in Peru since at least the mid 1600s; its (Quechua) name is homonymous to a coastal city, where Pisco began to be made. I believe he would make Central and South American cuisines a big favour by just sticking to Mexican food, his true specialty.

  3. Ann Proctor says:

    I too do not like green peppers but love any other color. He is just okay as a judge.

  4. cammie says:

    At last, Someone from the FN — acknowledges NO as a food city.

  5. I like Aaron and I like the show. But

  6. At last, Someone from the FN — acknowledges NO as a food city.

    Read more at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2013/05/aaron

  7. I love the 'Chopped' competitions. I would like to see a show where the 'Iron Chiefs' compete in the 'Chopped' show format.

  8. I love the 'Chopped' competitions. I would like to see a show where the 'Iron Chiefs' compete in the 'Chopped' show format.

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