We’ve been in awe of Sandy since the moment we met her. The magnetic chef and food stylist is famous for her artistic approach to cooking with local and sustainable produce. Sandy is Vietnamese and born in Australia where she studied fine art. She discovered a passion for food that led her to sail the world as a chef. Lucky for us she has made her home in Los Angeles.
Sandy’s food is a delight to every sense and is so recognizably Sandy. You may have been lucky enough to meet her at a pop up or a private dinner, on IG or at our zoom cooking class together in 2020. Those amazing rainbow dumplings!
We admire Sandy for how clearly she is following her joy. Her happiness in the kitchen or in the farmers market radiates to all around her. It’s no wonder her food is so beautiful and delicious. Sandy has been so kind to chat with us about her inspiring philosophy in the kitchen (and life) and to share her recipe for corn cheddar pancakes with grilled plum and tomato salad.
LR: Where do you cook?
SH: Currently cooking in LA + wherever I feel called to travel and explore
LR: Why do you cook?
SH: It is truly meditative for me - I feel a sense of calm and inner knowing that makes me feel at home.
LR: Describe your cooking style:
SH: intuitive, funky, unctuous and colorful
LR: What do you like to listen to?
SH: Everything from classical to 90’s r & b - in the kitchen I gravitate to love songs of every kind!
LR: What are 5 ingredients always found in your kitchen:
SH: A collection of fish sauce, makrut lime leaves, lots of spoons
LR: How does Lorenza make you feel?
SH: Lorenza makes me feel everything! Whether it's relief with a quick sip of the spritz after work, mischief with one last glass after a night out in the summertime or absolute joy when I get to share a glass with friends at a dinner party (or at the beach!).
LR: Why did you choose this recipe to pair with Lorenza?
SH: I have been absolutely obsessed with corn this season and of course in this sweltering heat, tomatoes and stone fruit have been plucking at my heartstrings! The tart and sweet from the plum and tomato salad brightens up the fluffy, savory sweet corn cheddar pancakes. I love how this dish mimics qualities in the rose and is a perfect go to for brunch when you can't decide on savory or sweet!
Corn and Cheddar Pancakes
2 corn ears (off the cob blended with 1/4 cup water)
3 T sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar (you can use any hard cheese you desire - feta also works well!)
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 T melted butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
Butter for cooking
- Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well
- Heat a skillet to medium heat and add 1 tsp butter, swirling the pan to coat
- Add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the batter to the pan once the butter begins to bubble and foam
- Cook each pancake for 1 minute each side until crispy on the edges and golden brown. You might need an extra teaspoon of butter between each pancake
Grilled Plum and Tomato Salad
1 ripe heirloom tomato
4 plums, halved and deseeded
3 tbs honey
1/2 tsp flakey salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
4 T aged sherry vinegar - or your favorite vinegar!
2 tsp tamari
4 T olive oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
Freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet to medium - medium high with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil until lightly smoking
- Add plums, cut side down to the pan and leave to char for 2 minutes or until plums easily release. Leaving the plums without touching them will help create that beautiful crusty char that we’re looking for!
- Remove plums, drizzle with honey and flakey salt, then leave to cool slightly
- Slice tomatoes and arrange with plums on a separate plate, drizzle over dressing and top with your favorite herbs, I used dill and cilantro!
- Spoon this salad over your pancakes or eat it on it’s own - it is perfect paired with my favorite Lorenza Rose Spritz or latest vintage.