Fabulous People: Samantha Sanz

Samantha Sanz is the Chef de Cuisine at Talavera at the Four Season Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Chef Samantha Sanz was born in Nogales, Mexico, where she was raised in a family-owned restaurant and spent her free time watching her grandmother cook. Samantha has been nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award and has been on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Learn more about Samantha Sanz…

Hometown: Nogales Sonora Mexico.

First job: My first job ever was when i was 10 years old, my mom hired me the summer to prepare wholesome and healthy meals for my dad and siblings. 

Favorite AZ restaurant: Tratto. I love the ambiance, the food and the service. 

Person who has impacted your life the most: My Grandmother and mother. They are both in the restaurant industry, so they taught me how to be a strong lady. To stay true to myself, but never to let go of my dreams and actually turn those into realities. 

Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: My biggest accomplishment has to be the nomination I received for James Beard for Rising Star Chef of the Year. As a younger self, I would always dream of being nominated for a James Beard award. When I got the news I could not believe it. I think it just continues to prove that you have to dream big and stride for that. I want to continue pushing and pursuing those dreams as big or small that I have for my future.  

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Self doubt. I would always question if I was in the right career, if it was my path. Now more than ever, I know that this is where I belong. That there is nothing that would fulfill me the way cooking does. It makes me feel so many different emotions and continues to amaze me.  

Someone who inspires you: Chef and restauranteur Nancy Silverton, I just love her. She is such a passionate cook. I truly admire her drive and how much of a perfectionist she is. I love that people recognize that she has a great palate. She is someone that inspires me and wish that I can be like her one day.  

Favorite quote: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.   

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Work hard, don’t give up on it. It takes a lot of time, sacrifice, patience, love and focus. Study and ask as many questions as possible. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s how you learn how to fix them and you will never make that same mistake twice. Be humble, keep your head down, listen to your mentors, ALWAYS taste your food, don’t be afraid of salt (it is your friend), don’t be afraid of acid (it will become your best friend) and mostly cook with LOVE! 

What you think makes someone fabulous: Just somebody owning their truth and being genuine. 


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