Food Network or MasterChef fans recognize chef Aarón Sánchez as one of the few prominent Latino chefs and now his story might be reaching a larger audience now that ABC greenlit an untitled project based on his memoir, Deadline reports. The book, entitled Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef, came out in October of this year and chronicles his journey as a Mexican-American from El Paso who moved to New York City with his twin and mom, a successful chef and restaurateur.
The show follows divorcée and chef Zoila Sánchez, who is based on Sánchez’s own mother, Zarela Martinez, as she and her fraternal twin sons, Alex and Rafael (inspired by Sánchez and his brother, Rodrigo) make the move to open a new restaurant in NYC. The show is being overseen by Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble productions company, which also helmed Grand Hotel, a Latinx series that ran for one season on ABC.
“Food is the purest reflection of the Mexican people. As a bicultural Mexican American kid, I had been exposed to that sensibility,” he writes in the introduction to his memoir. He recounts how a trip to Mexico changed his life and provided a deeper understanding of the significance of food within Mexican culture. “History has taught them that they have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring, so for a people who have seen such pain, a celebration isn’t just a chance to party. A meal isn’t just sustenance. The pursuit of happiness isn’t recreational; it’s a survival strategy.”
There aren’t many details available about the series but considering the passion for Mexican cuisine and culture, he exhibits in the book it’s safe to assume the show will convey the same message. Neither Sánchez or Longoria have commented on the series yet. In addition to MasterChef and MasterChef Jr., he can bee seen on Food Network’s Chopped and he’s the chef at Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans. He started the Aaron Sanchez Scholarship Fund in 2016 to help aspiring chefs in Latinx communities. Longoria has been focusing more on working behind the scenes as she’s prepping to direct Flamin’ Hot, a biopic about Richard Montanez, the janitor-turned-inventor of Cheetos.
Writer-producer Rob Sudduth, who was raised by a Latino family in Texas, penned the series and the executive produced it alongside UnbeliEVAable and Sánchez. No release date or additional info have been released but we’ll be on the lookout for this food-centered series highlighting Mexican culture inspired by one of the most prominent Mexican chefs today.