Aarón Sánchez shares why Airbnb is his perfect choice for work travel


Aarón Sánchez is a celebrated chef whose busy schedule often keeps him away from home. Luckily Airbnb is his home away from home during those work trips.

Traveling for work, even for Aarón Sánchez, can be a tedious affair. While it might sound glamorous to travel around the globe, the reality might make you miss the comforts of home. Luckily lodging options, like Airbnb, transform work travel into something quite memorable.

For some people, work travel includes a stay in a typical hotel. Those stays can lack immersion into the personality and culture that the locale offers. Even though a traveler is visiting for a purpose, can’t he experience the authentic aspects of that area?

Aarón Sánchez is a well-known chef. From being a judge on MasterChef to popular New Orleans restaurant, the celebrated chef often travels for work. While these trips are necessary, those trips do not have to be bland. Sometimes, those trips and experiences can inspire him long after he returns home.

Recently, Chef Sánchez shared that he prefers to stay at an Airbnb while traveling for work. He feels that these stay options allow him to explore different areas and cultures while he is away from home.

In this video, Chef Sánchez talks about his recent stay in Koreantown and how it influenced his cooking.

Looking at this video, it is clear that Chef Sánchez took that Koreantown experience and applied it to something personal to him. He found a connection to something that family loves, tacos, and added a little Korean flare.

That experience in the Korean Market is something that he might not have experienced but for his stay at the Airbnb. While no one would be able to cook this meal in a hotel room, Chef Sánchez might not have explored this market if he wasn’t staying in Koreantown.

This video brings up an interesting concept, shouldn’t work travel be as compelling as personal travel. If you use an Airbnb for your weekend getaway, why can’t you use it for work?

Recently, FoodSided had the opportunity to chat with Aarón Sánchez about his work Airbnb experiences. As seen in the video, he has found a way to make work travel highly enjoyable.

Below is a transcript of that interview.

Cristine Struble: So many people travel for work and it can become a grind. Through Airbnb you have found a way to make the experience more enjoyable, why do you believe more business travelers should explore Airbnb?

Aarón Sánchez: It feels much more personal and like you are truly done with work and back at home when you return to an Airbnb vs. a hotel at the end of a long day in my opinion. I just can unwind easier when I have a pool that’s just for me and my family and I can have a full kitchen to cook dinner and all the touches of home that don’t come with a hotel. I was actually able to write a lot of my memoir at Airbnb’s because the spaces felt truly private and I was able to be vulnerable in the process in a safe place. These are just a few of the reasons why I suggest Airbnb for business folks who are on the road a lot.

CS: In your experience, it seems like the Airbnb rentals turn a work trip into a home away from home, like having a real kitchen to cook in. How does this option make work travel less stressful?

AS: Obviously as a Chef that’s important to me to be able to cook and experiment while I’m away from home. Even though it is my job, it is also very relaxing and like a form of meditation for me to make a homemade meal for me and my family while traveling. I also really love having a backyard with a barbecue and a pool, it really just makes me feel at home and is such a treat to come home to.

CS: Airbnb hosts (and the community nearby community) seem to help guests get an authentic experience while traveling, how have these experiences impacted you as a chef?

AS: I love the different decor in all the homes and it is kind of fun to pick what will be my inspiration during my stay. If it’s more of a rustic place or modern and sleek, that effects what I cook and my mood while I am there. I also love all the different cultures and communities that you can surround yourself with through Airbnb. As a Chef, we are always looking for something to draw from, whether that’s music, art, or poetry. A lot of different mediums offer some creative inspiration to me. When selecting an Airbnb, I take all of that into consideration, which farmer’s markets are nearby, what culture is predominant, which museums and music venues are close by?

CS: Chefs often use travel experiences to inspire new recipes. Are there common threads that connect all types of food and culture?

AS: Of course, I travel as much as I can because I am always trying to learn new techniques, ingredients and greater insights into other cultures. Everyone is connected by food, we all have recipes we remember our grandmother or mother making when we were growing up. Those experiences stay with us all our lives and the more we break bread so to speak and share our cultures, the more we can understand each other on a very deep level.

CS: With your discovery of “El Kimchi” why do certain Korean flavors work well in a taco?

AS: Well, Asian and Latin cultures actually use a lot of the same ingredients so there is some natural cross over. We both love acid and chiles, lots of fresh herbs and braising meat. There are quite a few commonalities, it’s just a nod to that really. Kimchi in particular is one of my favorite ingredients and I just think the acidity is such a nice combination with the richness of something like steak in a taco.

CS: Food and family have always been connected in your life, how does cooking together keep people connected?

AS: It’s as simple as really spending time together and nourishing each other. Families who eat and cook together are just intrinsically very connected. You share some of the most important moments in your life when making dishes in the kitchen or at the dinner table. It’s really honoring your culture through recipes, but also showing your family love through food.

I would like to thank Aarón Sánchez for taking the time to answer my questions and for Airbnb for facilitating this interview.

After understanding his reasoning for using Airbnb for work travel, it could be a lovely alternative to another hotel stay. While Airbnb experiences have enticed vacationers, it makes sense that this same idea can be applied to travel. It could make that work warrior ideal a little more bearable.

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What do you think of using Airbnb for work travel? More importantly, are you craving an Aarón Sánchez taco with El Kimchi?