#TBT: Aarón Sánchez by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, October 24th, 2013
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It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
While Aarón Sánchez now spends his Food Network days sending chefs’ dishes straight to the Chopping Block as a judge on Chopped, some of his earliest on the network were spent as the host of Chefs vs. City alongside Chris Cosentino. The guys traveled to a new city each week and challenged local culinary industry insiders to a race against the clock in their own city. Eating, drinking and discovering both famous and little-known dishes and hot spots in the area, Aarón and Chris attempted to prove they could outlast the locals and complete the required battles before their rivals.
Aarón took his competitive spirit with him to Heat Seekers, which found him and Roger Mooking face-to-face with some of spiciest dishes in the country. The challenge on their series was simple: See if you can handle the heat. It was up to Aarón and Roger to track down restaurants known for tongue-scorching foods and sample them firsthand — sometimes ending in clean plates, other times in tears.
No matter the task in front of him, this culinary school graduate isn’t one to back away from a challenge, and as a judge on Chopped, he sees similar traits in countless competitors, round after round. While judging, he’s quick to criticize contestants for blatant flaws, but he’s also fair in his critiques, often offering concrete opportunities for improvement. After all, as a longtime chef and restaurateur, Aarón has his own set of chops to support his opinions and emphasize his expertise.