How do you maintain your connection to the natural world?
I cook outdoors every chance I get! I use flame and fire whenever I can and I get in the car and drive out of the city as often as I can. The natural world is my biggest inspiration. I’m always in awe of the ocean and its ever changing moods. I love seeing the mountains when I drive out of the city, especially as the sun is winding down and the skies in California are pink, purple and blue. I feel shot through the heart when I see the inside of a July flame peach, a Weiser yellow watermelon, or watch pink finger limes burst open. For me, there isn’t a sense of having to maintain connection to the natural world…I feel very lucky to be fully immersed in its presence in both my work time and down time.
What do you pack for a picnic?
Summer tomatoes, mortadella, salt, rice and nori.
Our new No Waste Collection is crafted from production scraps that would otherwise have been tossed as "waste". From meatballs to bone broth, bouillabaisse to dumplings, some of the best things come from having to make things stretch, to make something from nothing. What magic have you made from the extras?
Congee is a big one for me.. and anything with rice! Fish sauce is a game changer too - a real flavor pusher. I am always repurposing food and finding new creative ways to use what I have. In fact, Sandita’s Rainbow Dumplings began as I was using scraps and vegetables that were piling up from CSA boxes in the early days of the pandemic. Some weeks I would find myself with an abundance of beets or kale and I would end up juicing them to create the signature colors that we use now in all of our dumplings.