Mexican-American Chef Aaron Sanchez’s Memoir Is Being Turned Into A TV Series
Any fan of the Food Network is familiar with Mexican-American chef Aaron Sanchez. The beloved award-winning chef and restaurateur has not only proven his skills on TV—he’s also written several cookbooks, and now he’s ventured into the realm of memoir. Published by Abrams Press on October 1st of this year, Sanchez’s memoir Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef chronicles the formative years of his youth, following Sanchez from his lively culinary New York roots to New Orleans, where his prolific career really began. The narrative is an honest, personal, and intimate glimpse into the life of a fatherless Latino boy turned top-tier culinary superstar.
“I’ve achieved this position as one of the most influential Latin chefs in this country,” says Sanchez. “There’s no formula, per se, but hopefully what I’ve gone through will inspire others.”
Indeed, the book has been well-received by readers around the country, with many folks relating to Sanchez’s Mexican-American upbringing. His mother, Zarela Martinez—like so many Latina mamás—was an outstanding cook, and she also worked as a highly successful chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. She served as a source of major inspiration for Sanchez throughout his youth, and in 2013, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of American Food for bringing authentic Mexican fare to American diners.
“One of the things she impressed on me very early in my life is developing my own style,” Sanchez said. This advice has proven essential for his success, as Sanchez is known for his unique approach to pan-Latin cuisine. Although Sanchez can trace his professional trajectory back to his mother, his familial relationships are at the root of the next big development in his career.
ABC has reported that a new family restaurant comedy based on Sanchez’s new memoir is currently in development—and Eva Longoria is one of the producers.
While it is still untitled, the television project will focus on the character Zoila Sanchez, who has a passion for telling stories through her food. In order to achieve her dream of opening a restaurant, Zoila moves her twin sons from El Paso to New York—which, as one of the most metropolitan cities in the world, is a far cry from a humble Texas town. As the family navigates their strange new world, they discover that food is the best (and, maybe, the only) way to cultivate connection, and their adventures in cooking draw them even closer together. The three-person family is based directly on Sanchez, his mother, and his own twin brother, and their experiences during that time of their lives.
UnbeliEVAble Entertainment—the production company created in 2005 by Eva Longoria—is producing the series, with Rob Sudduth, Ben Spector, and Longoria at the helm. Like Sanchez, Sudduth also grew up in a south Texas Latino family, and he even pitched a series to ABC back in 2017 based loosely on his life as a queer Latino man returning home. As of right now, his writing credits include the upcoming Netflix comedy series Slutty Teenage Bounty Hunters, Lifetime’s American Princess, and Netflix’s On My Block.
And, of course, we are all familiar with Longoria. We know her as Isabella Braña from The Young and the Restless and Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives. Since the two hit shows that catapulted her career, she’s focused more of her energy on philanthropy and socially conscious filmmaking.
Since the development of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, Longoria has made it her mission to advocate for Latinos through documentary filmmaking, as well as other genres of film and television. She also founded the Eva Longoria Foundation in 2012, to provide Latinas with the resources to succeed in school and business.
View this post on Instagram
Today is #LatinaEqualPay Day, when Latinas "catch up" to what white, non-hispanic men were paid in 2018. The gap is widest for Latina workers, who on average earn only 54 cents for every $1 a man is paid. Meaning, they must work nearly two years to earn what white men earn in one year. I cannot stress how unacceptable this is, we need to act now. Latinas are phenomenal, and we deserve equal pay! @phenomenal tee benefits @mujerxsrising, which protects the rights of migrant women.
A post shared by Eva Longoria Baston (@evalongoria) on
Longoria uses her platform to draw attention to inequities that directly affect the Latinx community—specifically women. Yet she emphasizes that her success is not based on her identity as Latina; rather, she has made a point to use her success as a means to rally for Latinx folks everywhere.
“I made my fame as Eva Longoria, not as ‘Latin Eva Longoria,’” she told Buzzfeed in 2018. “I’m the one who climbed the mountain and screamed, ‘I’m Hispanic!’ But I didn’t become famous because I was Hispanic. I think there’s a very big difference.”
She states that growing up, her mother insisted that she and her siblings be socially conscious and socially active throughout their lives. Through her Foundation and UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, Longoria has set out to do just that.
Neither Sánchez nor Longoria has commented on the Where I Come From series yet, but stay tuned for more updates on what is sure to be a fascinating and enriching story about a famous Latinx chef finding success through family and food.
Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at email@example.com