If you’re a food TV fan, you might recognise Aaron Sanchez as a judge on the culinary battle show Chopped or a participant in the high stakes cook-off Iron Chef. Off camera, the chef divides his time between restaurants in New York and Kansas City, as well as the nationwide network of House of Blues eateries. Aaron’s fresh spin on traditional Latin cuisine has collected a stack of awards, launched two bestselling books, and even landed him a guest chef gig at the White House. We stole a few minutes from Aaron’s crazy schedule to talk about his favourite gadgets, the best tunes to cook to, and more.
Name: Aaron Sanchez
Occupation: Chef and partner at Mestizo in Kansas City, KS; Culinary visionary behind Tacombi in New York, NY; Culinary director of Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide; Judge on Food Network’s Chopped
Location: New York, NY
Current computer: MacBook Pro
Current mobile device: iPhone 5
I work: Passionately
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Songkick is amazing. It keeps track of my favourite bands and musicians and tells me when there are upcoming concert dates. Spotify is another one that I couldn’t live without. For work, Google Calendar keeps me on track.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
Having membership accounts with travel companies, like Hertz and Starwood Hotels helps me keep track of everything. Having all of my info saved in my account makes coordinating travel a lot smoother and easier. I’m also big on planning ahead and making appointments and reservations so I don’t have to wait around.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I use the Notes app on my iPhone for everything. I’m never without my phone so it’s perfect for me.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My electric shaver.
What’s your workspace like?
Since I’m on the road all the time, I work from wherever I can — airport waiting rooms, restaurants, hotels. Since I have to be mobile, I keep everything in my bag — my AT&T wifi device, my phone, my MacBook, iPad, headphones, and chargers for everything.
What do you listen to while you work?
My wife, Ife Sanchez Mora, is a musician, so I listen to her music when I’m in the kitchen.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I’m an early riser. When I’m on the road my phone is my alarm clock, but when I’m at home my son Yuma is my alarm clock. There’s no sleeping once he’s up and running.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I’m a champ at changing diapers.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Cook for the customer, not yourself.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Being a chef isn’t about glamour and accolades. Cooking is all about passion and love.
Connect with Aaron on Twitter @Chef_Aaron.
We’ve asked a handful of heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Every week we’ll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips and tricks that keep them going. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? Let us know.