J&W alum Aaron Sanchez is cooking in the fast lane. The son of celebrated Mexican chef Zarela Martinez, Aaron Sanchez has quickly risen himself to be among the country's leading contemporary Latin chefs.
Aaron is executive chef and co-owner of the new Manhattan restaurant Centrico, which he opened in 2005 with renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Aaron is also the chef and owner of the hip and trendy Paladar, where he prepares updated versions of Latin American cuisine on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Born in 1976 in El Paso, Texas, Aaron grew up around his mother's thriving catering business, which specialized in traditional Mexican cuisine. In 1984 the family moved to New York City where Aaron's Mom opened the celebrated Cafe Marimba. It was here at the age of 11 that Aaron first worked in a professional kitchen. By his 16th birthday, Aaron was so accomplished that he earned a place in a master class with Chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans, before enrolling at J&W.
Aaron returned to New York in 1994 to work at the popular restaurant Patria, which earned 3 stars from The New York Times. It was there that Aaron met Alex Garcia, who eventually became Aaron's co-host on the Food Network show "Melting Pot."
in 1996, Aaron left Patria to open Erizo Latino, which received critical acclaim. And in 2001, Aaron teamed up with Eamon Furlong to open the chic and trendy Paladar which in its first year won Time Out New Yorks 2001 Award for Best New Lower East Side Restaurant and Best Latin American restaurant. << Less Bio