#TBT: Aarón Sánchez

Aaron Sanchez

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.

Roger Mooking and Aaron Sanchez

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.

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Aarón Sánchez Bio

Aarón Sánchez is chef-partner of Johnny Sánchez, with locations in Baltimore and New Orleans. He is a judge on Food Network's hit series Chopped and the host of Cooking Channel's Emmy-nominated Taco Trip. He is also the host of two Spanish-language TV series on Fox Life: 3 Minutos con Aarón and Motochefs. Aarón's passion, commitment and skills have placed him among the world's leading contemporary Latin chefs. Celebrated by critics and contemporaries alike, Aarón has won a James Beard Award for Television Studio Program and has appeared at the White House as a guest chef. He has also starred on multiple Food Network shows, including Guilty Pleasures, Best.Ever, Heat Seekers, Chefs vs. City, Best Thing I Ever Ate and Next Iron Chef. In addition to being a chef, restaurateur and television personality, Aarón has written two cookbooks. His first, La Comida del Barrio, was published in May 2003. His second, Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours, was released in October 2011. Aarón has also designed a line of cookware products in collaboration with IMUSA and is a spokesperson for its Global Kitchen line. Aarón works with many charitable organizations. He is a chef ambassador for WhyHunger and Food Bank NYC, both leaders in the movement to end hunger and poverty. He is also a chef mentor for Chefs Move!, a scholarship program whose mission is to diversify kitchen leadership by providing minority applicants the opportunity to train up and become leaders in restaurant kitchens and in their communities. Aarón's creativity extends beyond the kitchen. He is a partner at Daredevil Tattoo in New York City, a world-famous shop and home to the country's premier tattoo museum. Aarón is an avid music lover; he enjoys cooking to the sounds of Alabama Shakes, Amos Lee, Lenny Kravitz and The Cure.

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