Plinio Sandalio is Pastry Chef at The Carillon in Austin, TX.
What was the food highlight of your year?
That’s easy, dinner at Mini Bar in DC. The restaurant is everything you would expect from Jose Andres: small, intimate, classy and filled with wonderful surprises. Ate a 24+ courses tasting menu with champagne pairings, living the dream. The dishes were fun, familiar, playful and somehow entirely new. Best part, the following day I stopped by and worked in the kitchen for a few hours. I saw the magic as a guest, and as a chef.
What was the music highlight of your year?
The Cure at ACL this year. I’ve been a long time fan of the cure. Well, old cure. I stopped listening after Disintegration. I have never seen them and this year had free passes to ACL to see The Cure headlining. I just wish they played A Forest before the massive rain came pouring down. It poured and didn’t stop for hours. The entire crowd at ACL was soaked. No cars could come in or go out, we all had to organize a mass exodus. We must have looked like wet zombies slowly walking our way out of Zilker Park and into the center of downtown Austin.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
I’ve been delving back more into my Bolivian culture. Learning about classic dishes, chicha, and the music. I’ve been cooking a lot more at home too. And in the restaurant, been introducing guests to southern desserts with a little Bolivian twist. My mom recently passed away. Her death has brought my father and I closer. He comes to Austin to visit often. We spend our time in the kitchen teaching each other dishes. I teach him how to braise and why braising is important. He teaches me about Bolivian dishes and pastries. The whole time we listen to Cuecas and other songs that were my moms favorite. And after a few beers, I pick up the guitar and play along to Los Hijos del Sol’s “Carinito”.