D Magazine intern, Jessica Melton, loves Aarón Sánchez. We asked her to drop by Central Market in Dallas where the chef was promoting his new cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor. We didn’t have to ask twice.
Meeting Aarón Sánchez is a dream come true for an avid Food Network fan like myself; so when I heard he was in Dallas for a book signing I jumped on the opportunity.
There’s always a bit of apprehension when I know I’m about to meet someone I’ve seen on TV. I feel like I know Sánchez after I’ve watched him as an honest judge on Chopped, seen him stress in Chef vs. City and looked on in awe of his taste buds in I Like it Spicy. But even though I’ve seen him a million times, I’ve never actually met him.
I’m thrilled to say the manners he has on Chopped were preserved in real life. He showed up to his book signing on time with a smile on his face to meet his fans. He not only took the time to sign every copy of his book Simple Food, Big Flavor, he also took pictures and had a small conversation with every fan in line. I’ve been to a few book signings before and this kind of behavior isn’t the norm for busy authors.
While he was at Central Market I also learned I’m hardly the only person who was enthusiastic to see him. A line of around 20 people formed waiting for him to arrive, and just about as quickly as he finished talking to one person another would come into the line. His Dallas fans came in all shapes and sizes from those who excitedly looked through their cookbook and readied their cameras in silence to those who screamed when it was their turn to meet Sánchez. One fan even jumped into a hug with him saying how happy she was to meet him.
Sánchez was at Central Market promoting, Simple Food, Big Flavor, his second book that was published, which he says is the first that reflects his own cooking style. He noted that his first book was more of a reflection of cooking styles he admires, while this book is more personal to him.
And don’t worry if you’re not comfortable in the kitchen; he says it’s ok.
“When you say ‘simple food,’ you make a promise,” Sánchez said, commenting on the fact that anyone can cook his recipes.
Most of the recipes in his book are base recipes, he added, meaning that once someone has the concept down they can make 3 to 4 things from the same skill set.
While Sánchez is in Dallas he’ll also be working on I like it Spicy. He doesn’t know where he’ll be sent to test his tongue of steel because he has better reactions if everything is a surprise.
All in all, meeting Sánchez was everything I could have hoped for. And in case you didn’t get a chance to make it over, his book carries over some of his personality and even gives the details of why he got certain tattoos and what his Grandmother’s cooking was like.