The Most Important Cooking Advice Aarón Sánchez Ever Received From His Mother

As someone who's been in the food industry for a really long time, celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez has reached many milestones in his career. Per his official website, Sánchez had a teacher at home. His mom, Zarela Martínez, is a restaurateur herself who worked very hard to inspire others with her take on Mexican dishes. As a kid, Sánchez would often interact with popular chefs who frequented his dining room.

When he was just 16, his mother encouraged Sánchez to work with culinary master Paul Prudhomme, giving him the opportunity to learn on the job. A gig with Chef Douglas Rodriguez at a former restaurant called Patria served as another formative experience (via Zagat). "Having a Latin mentor like Chef Douglas Rodriguez, who was also the owner, and seeing all the amazing careers that came out of that kitchen really inspired me to set my sights high and to know that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to," Sánchez explained. 

Though he learned a great deal from Prudhomme and Rodriguez, Sánchez's mother remains his greatest inspiration. A passionate and experienced chef, she taught her son many important lessons.

Sánchez's mother encouraged him to find his unique 'culinary voice'

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Aarón Sánchez learned from two familial figures: his grandmother and his mom. Both wrote cookbooks and loved working in the kitchen on new recipes. Sánchez followed suit and wrote his own cookbooks as a professional chef.

As detailed by Sánchez, his mom imparted a great deal of wisdom, but there's one piece of advice that stood out. She told him to focus on his individual cooking style instead of being blindly influenced by others. "Don't regurgitate your mentor's techniques," Sánchez shared, recalling his mother's words. "Work with a bunch of different chefs that have different styles and cultural points of view, and then disseminate all that to find your own culinary voice."

This admonishment has been of great help to Sánchez, who offered his own advice. "Try to approach everyone with the same respect and honesty," he said. "You'll never go wrong."