What an awesome conversation we had with Chef Aaron McCargo Jr. Shawn first connected with Aaron for a feature in Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine and knew that when we started the podcast he wanted to have him on – today was our lucky day!
Chef McCargo Jr. is a top-notch, energetic and authentic guy and we had an absolute blast chatting with him – getting real with him. If you aren’t familiar with Aaron by name, you have most likely seen him on Food Network, where he hosted his only show, Big Daddy’s House for 7 seasons, after winning season 4 of Next Food Network Star.
Before earning his way into the limelight, Chef Aaron Mccargo Jr. did what a lot of chefs do – he started cooking and baking at a very young age. A short stint in culinary school didn’t seem like the right fit for him and decided to learn the ropes of the kitchen in the trenches, on the line in a variety of restaurants. He then followed his dream of opening his own restaurant – that soon turned into two. Chef Aaron learned a number of lessons through this experience and shares what his entrepreneurial journey has been like, how he finds balance in his life, and how he’s been able to handle the pressures of media, publicity and all the attention that comes with being a celebrity chef.
In this conversation we discuss:
- How Aaron got started in the kitchen and how he’s gotten to this point in his career.
- How he learned the ins and outs of the kitchen and how the learning curve seems a bit different for the current generation.
- What it was like going from executive chef to becoming the owner of not one, but two restaurants.
- The unexpected challenges that McCargo Jr. had to face as both the owner and operator of two different restaurants.
- How he was able to not only get on Next Food Network Star but actually win it.
- What it was like being thrust into the limelight, garnering a lot of attention and how he’s learned to best deal with it.
- The importance of managing his time and how he has learned how to decide hat opportunities to say “no” to.
- What drives Aaron in his life and career.
- The advice he has for you, the listener.
Connect with Aaron at his website (where you can also check out “The Sauce”, learn about his charity, “Play to Win”, and link up with him on social media.