Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Centrico Restaurant
Food Network Star
The co-star of Food Network’s hit series, Chopped and Heat Seekers, Aarón is the executive chef/co-owner of Centrico restaurant, located in New York City, and Mestizo, located in Kansas City. He is also the culinary visionary behind Tacombi Tacqueria in New York City and Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide. The son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority Zarela Martinez, Aarón’s passion, commitment and skills have placed him among the country’s leading contemporary Latin Chefs.
Aarón began his career with the Food Network as co-host of Melting Pot, where he introduced a national audience to his technique and creativity with contemporary interpretations of classic Latino cuisine. Today Aarón stars on multiple Food Network shows including: Heat Seekers, Chefs vs. City, Chopped, Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Best Thing I Ever Made.
In 2011, Aarón joined forces with FOX’s Utilisima to create Aarón Loves NY, a Spanish-language cooking series that airs in South America, Latin America and North America.
In February 2001, Aarón opened Paladar, a pan-Latin inspiration on the Lower East Side. Funky but chic, Paladar incorporates the vibrant energy of the neighborhood with the relaxed intimacy and warmth of a Cuban Paladar. In its first year, Paladar won Time Out New York’s 2001 Award for Best New Lower East Side Restaurant and Best Latin American Restaurant in their 2002 Eating and Drinking Guide.
In 2004, Aarón opened up Centrico with renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent of the Myriad Restaurant Group (Nobu, Tribeca Grill, etc.). With the new restaurant, Aarón goes back to his roots to cook the Mexican food of his childhood with a fresh interpretation.
In 2005 Aarón was nominated as the “Rising Star Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. The same year he was named one of People Magazine and People En Espanol’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Aarón is a restaurateur, television personality, consultant, spokesperson and author. His first book, La Comida del Barrio, was published in May 2003. His new book, Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours, was released in October 2011.
When he’s not in the kitchen or shooting his TV shows Aarón spends most of his time with his family, writing and traveling the world exploring different and interesting cultures.