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RH: Placido Domingo is one of your partners. How did that come about?

Sandoval: I knew Placido from Acapulco, where I grew up. His family would vacation there and they would visit my dad's restaurants. When I struck out on my own to open restaurants in New York, he had a restaurant there that he wanted to reconceptualize and he called on me. I had a great idea to do a coastal seafood restaurant and he loved the idea, so we did it together.

RH: With this event taking place over Father's Day, is there one dish that your dad asks you to make him?

Sandoval: My parents were divorced when I was very young and I spent a lot of time with my father's mother. She had a huge influence on my palate and my style of cooking. She used to make a turkey mole poblano, and it's one of my favorites that I learned from her. A black mole with cilantro rice and fried plantains. My grandmother is gone, so my dad asks me to make him that dish. My grandmother got that recipe from her grandmother and it's the mole recipe I use at my restaurants.

RH: During your visit here in Aspen, was there any chef you hoped to meet?

Sandoval: Actually, I met him last night, Ricardo Zarate, who has Mo-Chica, Picca and Paiche in Los Angeles. When I was doing Top Chef Masters in L.A., I went to Picca and read a lot about him, but I never met him there. Next week I'm going to meet with him and maybe down the road we'll do something together.

RH: Ricardo is doing Peruvian cuisine and the media has been predicting for years that Peruvian would be the next big thing. What's your take on that?

Sandoval: I have been hearing that, too, for many years. I actually have a Peruvian restaurant in New York called Raymi, which opened two years ago, and we're struggling. One of the most famous Peruvian chefs in the world also opened a Peruvian restaurant in New York and he's gotten bad reviews. I have a great chef. For some reason, the cuisine doesn't seem to get the traction it deserves. Everybody talks about Peruvian cuisine, but nobody really can describe it to you. I'm glad Ricardo is having success with it in L.A.

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