9 Fall-Off-Your-Chair Funny Quotes from Chef Aarón Sánchez at SOBEWFF

9 Fall-Off-Your-Chair Funny Quotes from Chef Aarón Sánchez at SOBEWFF

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How do we love Chef Aarón Sánchez? Let us count the ways. He brought major star power to last week’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, wherein he fed, educated, and entertained attendees. But where he comes off as uber-serious on Chopped and laid-back-surfer-dude’ish on Taco Trip, the realAarón Sánchez is really funny, with spot-on comedic timing, insightful political commentary, and the ability to riff off the cuff. Here are highlights from his culinary demonstration at Saturday’s Grand Tasting, including cooking tips, food history, and seriously funny one-liners…

On Mexican stripper names:

The recipe Sánchez demo’ed called for canela. “Is anyone familiar with canela?” he asks. A high-pitched woohoo comes from the back of the house. Sánchez, without missing a beat, replies, “Is there a stripper named Canela in the room?” and adds, with an affect that suggests he’s speaking into a microphone, “Canela to the champagne room. Calling Canela to the champagne room.” The crowd erupts in laughter.

On efficiency in the kitchen:

Sánchez prepared a duck breast with pasilla chile glaze topped with pomegranate and julienned mint leaves. Of its rich, aromatic sauce, the chef advised, “If you’re gonna’ go through all this trouble to make a sauce, don’t make a quart, make a gallon and freeze it.”

On immigration:

Halfway into Sánchez’s cooking demonstration, a piercing siren-like sound surrounds the audience, and it takes a beat before everyone realizes what it is. As audience members reach for their phones – sadly, it’s an Amber Alert – Sánchez respectfully turns a downcast moment into a funny one. “What the hell is that?” he says, ducking behind his kitchen counter and looking overhead as if at helicopters. “Is that immigration?” Again, the crowd erupts in laughter.

On his tattoos:

When fellow chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Robert Irvine briefly joined him onstage, Irvine joked that he saw Sánchez on a TV show about tattoos. Sánchez, who is a partner at NYC’S Daredevil Tattoo Shop, gestured to his full sleeves and replied: “I know man, I ran outta’ paper.”

On the story behind pasilla chiles:

Sánchez may look like your typical tatted chef with a penchant for parties, but he’s actually a walking Mexican food encyclopedia. Where did pasilla chiles get their name? Pasameans raisin in Spanish, he explained, so pasilla chiles, with their dark, coarse skin, are called “little raisins.”

On seasoning poultry:

Ever see a cooked chicken breast whose seasoning was unequally distributed? There’s an easy fix for that, says Sánchez: “When you have poultry or any kind of chicken or whatever, put some olive oil on it. It makes the seasoning stick.”

On why abuela’s cooking is the best cooking:

No matter how far you travel or how fancy your tastes, “grandma’s cooking is always best,” says Sánchez. Why? “Because grandma’s not in a rush. You ever seen your grandma move fast? Hell no.” The point, he says, is to take your time in the kitchen. The food will taste better and you’ll enjoy the process more.

On getting the best flavor from your food:

Take your products out of the fridge 15 minutes before you plan to cook them, suggests Sánchez. This allows the proteins to loosen up a little. “[Meats] come out of the fridge, like, ‘Damn, it’s cold in here.’ You gotta’ let ‘em relax a little.” If you’re concerned about bacteria, don’t be, says Sanchez. Food-borne illnesses take at least two hours to take hold.

On holiday gift-giving:

“Seasonings have a shelf life. They go bad,” says Sánchez. Instead, he suggests buying whole spices, and – ever the salesman – pans from the Aarón Sánchez line of pans. Then you can prepare your own spices. “Grind up some Aarón Sánchez adobo,” he says. “Give it away at Christmas. It’s a stocking stuffer!”