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October 22, 2022

At the Table: Sandy Sánchez

At the MINNA Table with freelance writer, strategist, and content creator Sandy Sánchez, @sndy_snchz. Featuring the MINNA Meridian Napkin, MINNA Meridian Table Cloth and the MINNA Ridges Placemats.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself. 

Hi, I’m Sandy! I’m currently living in the Hudson Valley with my partner and cockapoo, Noguchi. I lived in Brooklyn for several years but decided to come up here for a year and it’s been such a beautiful time. In January, I’ll be traveling around for a few months which I’m very excited about! I’m a freelance writer and strategist and have helped brand fun companies in the lifestyle, food, technology, and wellness spaces. I love cooking, thrifting, and exploring new places. I often share about my travels and what I’m loving on my TikTok and newsletter.

I love spending time in my kitchen! I feel like I spend most of my time there. I definitely have missed some of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants but the great thing is that I’ve been cooking a lot more than usual and have attempted at making some of my favorite meals. Some of my favorite things I’ve made this year: cavatelli with sausage, sage, and brown butter, fried chicken sandwiches, garlic naan, slow-roasted pork belly, lemony kale caesar salad, and pollo asado.

I’m Salvadoran and my partner is Mexican, so a lot of the time, our food involves beans, tortillas, queso, and salsa macha. And I’m also always craving something sweet, so I try to bake something new every month. I made conchas for the first time last month and they were incredible.

What will you be sharing with us today?

Today we’re going to be styling a tablescape! Hosting people for dinner is fun, but today, we’ll be setting up a tablescape just for two people. I think that every meal deserves to be beautifully laid out, even if it’s small. It makes it feel more special and intimate.

Here’s how I prepare a beautiful tablescape:

  1. Buy some flowers. I always try to have flowers on my table. I love the smell of having fresh flowers and once they get wilted, I let them dry up so I usually end up having a vase of dead flowers on my table. Still beautiful.
  2. Light up some candles. My favorite candlesticks are a pair of two vintage gold ones that my roommate thrifted and gave to me. They elevate every meal! And unscented tea lights are also great, too.
  3. Get cute plates. A lot of my plates are either thrifted, made by friends, or from Mexico.
  4. Lay out a beautiful tablecloth. It makes all the difference. Over the summer, I had a cute checkered cloth for my outdoor table and now that it’s getting colder, I have the Meridian Tablecloth in the color Robin. The warm colors make a great base for the table.
  5. Add some placemats. The Ridges Placemats in Starling is my favorite. I love the green colors because it brings vividness to the table. Adding placemats on top of the tablecloth adds texture to a table and the layering effect just looks so nice!
  6. Fold some napkins. Not only does it make it feel like you’re at a nice restaurant, but it just makes the tablescape look that much more official. I have the Meridian Napkins in Robin to match my tablecloth and they look so gorgeous on the table.
  7. Have lots of beverages. I’m someone who always drinks 3 things at once. I love having sparkling water, a blood orange Italian soda, coffee, tea, or homemade orange juice, depending on what meal I’m having.
  8. Cook colorful food. There are so many ways to level up your meal, no matter what it is. Yogurt? Top it with colorful berries. Toast? Spread some tahini, honey, and blueberries, and sprinkle on some mint. Pasta? Top it with parsley or basil. I’ve found that adding herbs is one of the best ways to make any meal more colorful.
  9. And sauces! Whether that’s a green salsa, red pasta sauce, or a side of hummus, there are so many ways to bring color to your meals.

At the MMINNA Table with freelance writer, strategist, and content creator Sandy Sánchez, @sndy_snchz. Featuring the MINNA Meridian Napkin, MINNA Meridian Table Cloth and the MINNA Ridges Placemats.

What does tradition mean to you? What traditions do you hold close?

Tradition is so important to me. I’m Salvadoran-American, so I have a lot of family traditions, like making chicken tamales on December 24 with my parents or opening our gifts when the clock strikes midnight. I also think having traditions with friends is really important. Whether that’s having a monthly breakfast date or hosting dinner parties. My partner and I also go to a cabin in the Catskills every January, which has been such a cozy tradition. And we are trying to go to Mexico every year for Dia De Los Muertos!

Who do you typically share meals with?

I typically share my meals with my partner and my friends! And my family, if I’m visiting them. Other times it’s just me, which I also really enjoy.

If you could have a meal with any three people, someone you know/don’t know/alive/dead, who would it be?

I would have loved to have a meal with my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma. I don’t know who she is but I’ve always been curious about my ancestors and what life was like for them. I also would love to have a meal with Salvador and Gala Dalí. I recently bought a book called “Les Diners De Gala” which is a wild, surrealistic cookbook that Dalí wrote. Apparently, he always wanted to be a chef. Salvador and his wife, Gala, used to host these extravagant, theatrical dinner parties where everyone was required to wear costumes and wild animals roamed free. So I feel like it could be very interesting to share a meal with them.

Anything else you'd like to share with the MINNA community?

Cook new recipes! Spend time in your kitchen with loved ones! Make every meal magical! Travel somewhere new and bring back ceramics from there! And if you don’t have fresh flowers right now, go get some.