Johnny Sánchez, New Orleans
Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. He is a partner/creative director of Cocina, the first online content platform dedicated to celebrating Latin lifestyle through its vibrant culinary culture. One of the world’s most distinguished chefs, Aarón is passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen.
Aarón has starred in multiple Food Network shows, most notably as a long-term judge on the award-winning series Chopped and Chopped Junior. He was the host of the Emmy-nominated Cooking Channel series, Taco Trip, and has appeared on a number of other shows including: Next Iron Chef, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Best. Ever and Guilty Pleasures. Additionally, Aarón was the host of two Spanish-language shows on Fox Life, 3 Minutos con Aarón, and MOTOCHEFS.
A third-generation cookbook author, Aarón has written two books - his first, “La Comida del Barrio” was published in May 2003 and his second, “Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours” was released in October 2011. He will be publishing his first memoir in the fall of 2019 titled “Where I Come From: Life Lessons From a Latino Chef”.
Celebrated by both critics and contemporaries, Aarón has won a James Beard Award for Television Studio Program (2012) and has been recognized by the Hispanic Federation and NBC Latino as a leader for the Hispanic community. In 2016, Aarón founded the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund (ASSF), an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community. ASSF provides recipients with full culinary scholarships to the International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City as well as mentorship opportunities.
Aarón’s creativity extends beyond the kitchen. He is a partner at Daredevil Tattoo in NYC, a world-famous tattoo shop and museum. He is an avid music lover and enjoys cooking to the sounds of the Alabama Shakes, Amos Lee, Lenny Kravitz and The Cure. He has a son, Yuma, and lives in New Orleans, LA.