cover image Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef

Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef

Aarón Sánchez, with Stef Ferrari. Abrams, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3802-9

Sánchez (Simple Food Big Flavor), cohost of MasterChef, earnestly traces his origins as a Mexican-American kid growing up in El Paso, Tex., to his success as a celebrity chef and restaurateur. Sánchez formed early food memories of his mother’s cooking (and the “piquant aroma of chiles and guisados”) while helping with her part-time catering business in El Paso. When she relocated the family to New York City to pursue her culinary career, Sánchez got an early education in the business of food. He recounts a summer as a troubled teen “getting a culinary crash course” at K-Paul’s with legendary New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme; covers his years working in largely Latino-run kitchens (he is currently executive chef of Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans); and gives a behind-the-scenes look at his roles on food television, which he saw as “my chance to do something major for my culture.” Throughout, Sánchez advocates for women and people of color, insisting it’s “time to get our act together as an industry,” and he shares recipes from his family and kitchens, such as a seared salmon with pumpkin seed mole. Sánchez’s fans will relish this richly told life story of a chef celebrating his roots. (Oct.)