Aarón Sanchez from El Paso, Texas is the son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority Zarela Martinez. He began his culinary career in 2001, when he worked with Eamon Furlong at Paladar, a funky, chic restaurant that combines the vibrant and energetic feel of the neighborhood and the relaxed intimacy and warmth of a Cuban Paladar. Just in its first year, Paladar won Time Out New York's 2001 Award for Best New Lower East Side Restaurant and Best Latin American Restaurant in their 2002 Eating and Drinking Guide. Sanchez then opened up Centrico in 2004, alongside Drew Nieporent of the Myriad Restaurant Group. Aside from his management with various restaurants he has worked in, he also was able to release his first book, La Comida del Barrio in May of 2003.
Aarón Sanchez became known for being on the Food Network's The Next Iron Chef as one of eight contenders for the ultimate title of Iron Chef. Inspired by his mother, Paul Prudhomme, Douglas Rodriguez and Jonathan Waxman, he is known for creating contemporary Mexican and Latin cuisine with a local seasonal focus. His culinary secret weapon is Masa Harina, while his signature ingredient is chiles. He was eliminated on the sixth challenge and has since appeared on Chefs vs. City and as a judge on Chopped.
(Photo courtesy of Food Network)