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Celebrity Chef: Aaron Sanchez

August 13, 2020

I think I have been a fan of Aaron Sanchez since the first time I saw him on Chopped. He always seemed like the least snooty judge, and with all those tattoos, you could tell he liked to party. But he knew his food and he was always happy to speak to the contestants in a helpful manner, instead of just criticizing their dishes.

So last fall, when I was browsing at Parnassus and came across his recent bio, I knew it would be on my To Be Read pile. Shame on me that it took this long to get to it. Luckily, the library has it in ebook form, so I could download it from home once I remembered that I’d wanted to read it.

I didn’t know much about Chef Sanchez beyond Chopped and one of my all-time favorite Food Network shows - Heat Seekers. I knew his mom had been “a cook” but it turns out that she was one of the first chefs to bring authentic Mexican food to New York in the 1980s. I also didn’t know that Aaron has a twin brother. They aren’t close, but I always find it fascinating to learn that people have twins.

Aaron was involved with The Food Network pretty much from its beginning. The network started in 1993, but I really didn’t start watching it until more than a decade later. I loved the crazy stories about the first couple of shows he did. My favorite was when he cooked a full turkey in his small New York apartment and carried it across town to the studio in a taxi — this was before they had a crew to do all the food prep.

I must admit that I have not been watching MasterChef lately — which is doubly bad, because I also love Christina Tossi. I saw the season where they were auditioning different judges, but haven’t watched since. Maybe reading Aaron’s bio will get me back into it.

If you love celebrity bios, this is a good one. He also includes recipes, but I didn’t find them overly-friendly for the home cook — especially those of the non-Latin variety. It seemed like a lot of the ingredients would be hard to source, which is a deal breaker for me. Maybe you’ll have more luck.

Happy getting cheffy…

:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.