This past weekend, El Paso native and award-winning celebrity Master Chef Aarón Sánchez came home to host a fundraising dinner, in conjunction with the EPCC Culinary Program, for the victims of the August 3rd mass shooting.
100% of the proceeds of the event were earmarked for the El Paso Community Foundation’s Victims Relief Fund.
With the food, the atmosphere and the purpose set, the event took on a life of its own, centered around three simple keys – Eat, Pray, Love.
Eat: The sold-out dinner featured a mix of Cajun and Mexican style menu items, giving El Pasoans a taste of Chefs Aarón Sánchez and Miles Landrem’s New Orleans restaurant, Johnny Sánchez .
Beyond the dinner, Sánchez invited longtime friend and award-winning mixologist, Manny Hinojosa of Tequila Cazadores, to provide some lively cocktails and spirits at the event.
Pray: There was a moment of prayer before the speakers took the podium. Then Chef Sánchez addressed the room. He gave a warm deeply heartfelt speech where he expressed his love for his family and for the Sun City.
In the words of Sánchez , “food is medicine, and tonight is about medicine and healing.”
Love: The room was filled with food, love and laughter.
As a community we are still working through the process of moving forward and it has been so beautiful to see many of our celebrity artist, musicians, chefs etc., return home and use their gifts to spread the message of love and unity.
In addition to the dinner, Chef Sánchez made a special announcement that one of our own culinary students was the recipient of Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, which Sánchez created in order to cultivate and empower Latino chefs.
Hector Frausto becomes the first El Pasoan to ever receive the scholarship. Frausto is in his fourth year as a culinary student at EPCC and will be relocating to New York City this winter to begin his training as a Sánchez Scholar.
Chef Aarón Sánchez has appeared on hit shows “Master Chef” and “Chopped” to name a few; not only a celebrity chef but also an established author having already released two cookbooks, with book number three “Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef,” hitting the shelves this October.
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