Not everyday you wake up and head to an event in one of the most amazing places in NYC: Tribeca, to meet a celebrity chef and ask all the questions you want. So, who wouldn’t be excited to meet chef Aaron Sanchez, and taste his food?
I was so excited! Monday afternoon we had the chance to attend a Meet and Greet with him being the host of an exceptional event, cooking and demonstration, sponsored by Sierra Mist® and their new campaign: #Eatingtogether
For those who are not familiar with chef Aaron, just google him, and watch a long bio of everything this amazing man has made: american chef with latin roots, TV and culinary personality, and some titles anyone could envy: 2005 Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, and one of the 50 most beautiful people of People Magazine inspanish, on that same year (which, I have to say: I agree! =)
Within the U.S. he’s recognized as one ofthe toughest jury members in Food Network´s “Chopped”, and now he’s getting known in Latin America as well, with his program “Aaron loves NY” in Utilisima channel, where he cooks traditional and contemporary mexican cuisine.
So, no more intros… The event was incredible and it was great that I had the opportunity to meet some cool bloggers, which I recommend you follow in Twitter: Lara (@cookfordays), Uchi(@latinfoodlovers) and Nicci (@Nicci_JH), we were all so excited for being there meeting chef Aaron!
He arrived on time and started the event with a wide explanation of the advantages of Sierra Mist Natural® against other brands. First of all, it has real and natural sugar, no syrups or chemicals in it… so it enhances the flavors when using it for cooking and in drinks. Then he kept on cooking, cutting everything (nice cutting skills man!!!) while chatting with us, and for the record, here are some cool phrases that remind me of my family, my mom’s cooking, and sharing a table with lovely people:
…”If I can cook 50% as good as my grandmother, then I’m doing OK”…
…”Eat with your hands, bring people together!”…
…”Let the food speak for itself, treat it with respect and honor”…
…”That’s how we, latins are: we like to enjoy, to embrace, to get together and please our people”…
And I can’t deny it… everything was amazingly good!
We started with drinks of course! Some Raspberry Rumbas to refreshen our spirits, whose only 3 ingredients tasted so good! Just frozen raspberries, Sierra Mist natural, and lemon juice did the treat. The color of the drink was so vibrant and I guess I will prepare them myself at home soon, just adding a little bit of tequila... that will kill nobody! =)
While Chef Aaron was preparing the main dish, we tried one of the best guacamoles I’ve ever had in my life! A creamy, savory guacamole that some assured had an extra non-traditional ingredient like cream or mayonnaise… When asked about that, he was almost offended! And claimed that he uses no more than 5 ingredients for his guacamole: avocados from Michoacan, Mexico, serrano chile (and not jalapeño as in the U.S.), white onion (mexican white onion), lime juice and salt… and yes… his secret ingredient: a pinch of mexican oregano! I agree… best guacamole doesn’t need cumin or any other ingredient! This was excellent and tasty!
Our first course was a Mixed Ceviche with aji amarillo, made with shrimp, fish, calamari in a mango-lemon juice with red onion and chili. Yummer! So tangy, spicy, perfect to start the meal!
Then, second course was a Mixed green salad, with spicy walnuts, fava beans and cotija cheese, in a lemonyvinagrette. It was nice, crunchy and light, just the way a great salad should be!
Main dish left everyone speechless. I can’t remember a person not saying “mmm”, “wooow”, “delish”!!! and I guess we almost forget that Chef Aaron was speaking, just for the pleasure of eating! Chicken in a chipotle sauce with green rice was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Perfectly cooked juicy chicken thigh with a spicy chipotle sauce made with Sierra Mist…but hands down for that green rice! A mix of cilantro, basil, onion, poblano pepper make that rice a piece of heaven itself! Nobody left a grain on their plates!
Last but not least, a delicious “tiny”(and very rich) chocolate fondant cake with a pinch of chili on top, corn sorbet (OMG… hands down too!) and raspberry coulis… Incredible! I was only missing some cafe de olla!
They say “full stomach, happy heart”, right? And that’s it: I left the place with a big big smile on my face, a signed cookbook by Chef Aaron, a nice promo bag from Sierra Mist, great cookingadvices and a fantastic culinary experience!
This is me and Chef Aaron! great right? =)
Thanks so much to Sierra Mist Natural® for inviting us! And for all of you… we have some of the recipes from that day waiting to be prepared in our kitchen!