Award-Winning Chef and Author Aarón Sánchez Shares Secret Recipe for Life

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Celebrated chef Aarón Sánchez, restaurateur and judge on FOX’s MasterChef, is always looking for inspiration in unexpected places. That’s why Airbnb is his travel essential when he’s on the road for work. By staying in close-knit neighborhoods, Aarón seeks out what he refers to as local “intel” about where to find the best restaurants and food stands, and key spots to discover new ingredients and flavors. Following expeditions into new food territories, he likes to test out ideas in well-equipped, spacious kitchens where he can enjoy delicious meals with friends and family.

“Airbnb allows you to create that perfect setting. Happiness in every corner.”

— Chef Aarón Sánchez

Watch as Aarón discusses family bonding and culinary adventures he uncovers while staying in places listed on Airbnb. You even get to see him cooking with his uncle, and give instructions on how to land the ultimate cannonball in the pool. Whether it’s a stay in LA’s Koreatown — where Sánchez first dreamed up the idea for tacos with kimchi jicama slaw (check out the recipe below) — or a beautiful star-lit evening spent relaxing in the backyard in Houston, Aarón Sánchez is at home, even when his work takes him to far away places.

Feeling hungry? Fire up the stove and cook his tasty, Koreatown-inspired recipe for tacos with Kimchi Jicama Slaw. You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

Traveling far and wide, Aarón Sánchez has had the opportunity to sample exotic and delectable flavors in many distant locales. Of all these locations, here are five cities he sees as foodie must-visits. If you find yourself like Aarón, enchanted by the local markets and flavors of these cities and eager to whip up your own creation, we’re sharing some outstanding kitchens on Airbnb in each destination.

Head over to to discover more about Aarón Sánchez’s life on the road with Airbnb.

Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef. He is also author of the upcoming book Where I come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef (due out October 1).

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Cactus-Jicama Kimchi

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, cored, small dice
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  • 2T cilantro, chiffonade
  • 1 ea garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ea lime
  • Kosher salt


Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and season to taste

Cactus and Jicama Kimchi…aka “El Kimchi”

  • 1 ea medium paddle Cactus, de-thorned
  • 1 ea small jicama, cleaned and cut into matchsticks 1/8”
  • 1 ea small red onion, sliced
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 2T white sugar
  • 1T kochujang
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 1t fish sauce
  • 1t Korean chili flakes
  • 2T chipotle adobo
  • 1T jalapeno, chopped
  • 2T cilantro, chopped

Cactus Method

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil (one that will fit the cactus)
  • Carefully clean the cactus, holding the stem, take your knife and glide it along the cactus paddle to cut off the thorns. Trim off the outer layer around the paddle
  • Prepare an ice bath. When the water comes up to a boil, salt the water and blanch the cactus for 4 minutes. Place the cactus in the ice bath when done
  • Dry the cactus using paper towels and cut the cactus into 1/8” batons

Kimchi Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, season to taste and place into an airtight container

Carne Asada Marinade

  • 3 ea garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2T while granulated sugar
  • ¼ c ancho chili powder
  • 1T ground black pepper
  • 2T kosher salt
  • ½ large bu cilantro, leaves and stems well rinsed, chopped
  • 1ea orange, juiced
  • 2 ea limes, juiced
  • ¼ c mirin
  • 1- 12oz can Cass beer (or other lager beer)
  • 2T fish sauce
  • 2T Korean chili flakes
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 2T Kochujang
  • 1T liquid from canned chipotle 
  • 2T EVOO
  • 2# skirt steak or flap meat
  • 4” flour tortillas
  • 1/2c cilantro leaves- for garnish


Combine all the ingredients into a bowl (except for meat, tortillas, and garnishing cilantro leaves) and season to taste. Add meat into bowl and marinade for a minimum of 4 hours

  • When ready to cook, pre-heat the grill to med high
  • Remove steak from marinade and cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Rest and slice thin
  • Warm the tortillas on the grill
  • Place meat inside tortilla, garnish with pico de gallo, el kimchi, and lastly finish with cilantro leaves