Does Aarón Sánchez like being a chef or a restaurant owner better?

Does Aarón Sánchez like being a chef or a restaurant owner better?


[SMITH] Do you enjoy being a restaurant owner
or a chef more? [SÁNCHEZ] Chef, 100%. [SMITH] So then why don’t you stop, well then
get out of the restaurant business, just go back to the kitchen? [SÁNCHEZ] Yeah, well you know, it’s interesting,
now I’ve gotten smarter after 25 years, but I have people that work with me, they don’t
work for me, they work with me. I hate the word my team, my this, my that. It’s like, “No, no, we’re all in this together.” So I have people that have those set of skills
that allow us to offer all of us to be successful. [SMITH] So do you still cook? [SÁNCHEZ] Absolutely. [SMITH] If I got to Johnny Sanchez in New
Orleans, will I taste food that your hands have been on? [SÁNCHEZ] You know, to be honest, not every
time, but if you came in and you said, “Hey, Aarón, I want you to make me something special,”
I would do it, absolutely. [SMITH] Would I be more likely to taste your
food in your restaurant then say Wolfgang Puck’s food? I mean, the fact is, all these big brand names
are so far removed from the process of actually making the food at this point, right? It’s all more vision and business. But you’re still staying connected to the
food, I guess that’s what I’m asking. [SÁNCHEZ] Yeah, you know, I mean for me,
look, the idea is that, yes, television is great, and I’m this brand, and I’m this and
that, but I sleep good at night because I have a set of skills that no one will ever
take from me. [SMITH] And if TV goes away, and if the restaurant
business goes away, at the end of the day, you can go into the kitchen tomorrow– [SÁNCHEZ]
And support my family. [SMITH] Support your family, make a living,
and frankly support us by making good food. [SÁNCHEZ] Yes. [SMITH] That’s the point. But fortunately TV has not gone away, and
so I want to ask you about that. So one day you wake up, and all of a sudden,
you’re on every show on The Food Network. I mean literally it feels like. “Top Chef,” “MasterChef,” “Chopped,” “Taco
Trip,” you were the host of that. [SÁNCHEZ] “Heat Seekers,” “Chef vs. City.” [SMITH] All of this stuff. How has that been for you? What has that been like? And is that mostly like acting, or is it really
a positive experience for you? Are you getting something out of it? I know we’re getting out of it, but are you
getting something out of it? [SÁNCHEZ] Yeah, I mean, you know, initially
when I started to go on The Food Network, I remember I was, it’s well stated in the
book, which I’m sure all of you will pick up, that I got asked to do a segment called
“In Food Today with Donna Hanover”, who was Rudy Giuliani’s ex-wife at the time. I went on there to do a show, they had me
there for Cinco De Mayo. They pronounced it Cinco De May-o, so you
know, just to show you how bad it was. [SMITH] Well done. [SÁNCHEZ] So once that happened, they asked
me back to do other segments. I used it as a marketing tool, initially. That’s what I wanted to happen, I wanted butts
in seats, I want to use this platform to get people, create awareness of my restaurants. And then, the message has changed. Now I’m transmitting messages to people that
live in Idaho about chipotle peppers and about how, what Quinceanera is, and how we come
together and we make tamales during Christmas as Mexicans. Now, the television, when used for that medium
and that tool, becomes a very powerful, cultural exchange.

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