If you’ve spent any time watching Food Network, you’ve come across Aarón Sánchez. This chef who has a pleasant and memorable TV presence has written cookbooks before, but now he’s onto a memoir, Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef.
The book, which came out in October, has him on a tour, of course, and this Tuesday he’ll be at Deep Ellum Art Co. to talk about it.
“The idea is, we’re there to celebrate my life and all the wonderful things that have happened to me, but it’s also a celebration of music and food and art and the spoken word,” he says.
Sánchez, who’s originally from El Paso, says he has strong ties to Dallas.
“Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles, who are quintessential Dallas chefs … always played an instrumental role in mentoring me and being chef father figures, so I’ve always had a strong connection to Dallas for that,” he says.
Sánchez now lives in New Orleans, where he also has his Mexican restaurant, Johnny Sánchez. You may have seen him on Food Network's Chopped and a number of their other shows, as well as Fox's MasterChef. The chef says he makes it to Dallas on a fairly regular basis, noting how the once steak restaurant-heavy city has now evolved into far more than that.
“Now you have so many high-caliber chefs opening in Dallas,” Sánchez says.
But if you eat in Dallas, you already know that.
The Tuesday event will include the chef’s good friend, Shakey Graves (another good reason to attend). The two will talk about what it’s like being proud Mexicans from Texas and following their dreams. Of course, Graves is set to have a special acoustic performance, as well.
Each guest leaves with an autographed copy of the memoir after tasting some bites by another friend of Sánchez, Chris Lilly, who’s a champion pitmaster (from Alabama, but we’ll let that slide).
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A general admission ticket ($65) gets you in for all of that, a “merch package” gets you that and event gear ($90) and a VIP ticket gets all of those as well as an open bar and exclusive meet and greet with Sánchez ($135). Tickets are available on Prekindle.
For Sánchez, it’s another reason to come to Dallas. He’ll go to Houston next.
“Texas has the unbelievable, so many different influences from all over, you’re talking about Mexican, the German influence in the central part of Texas [and] Austin’s food scene. So it’s influenced me very much,” he says. “It’s allowed me to have a place to go visit where I know I’m always going to be constantly learning.”
The Sanchez Shake Up event will be at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. for VIP) Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Deep Ellum Art Co, 3200 Commerce St.