Sandia Chang, the co-founder with partner in life and business, James Knappett, on the 20-course journey that is the Kitchen Table experience, Oasis in the background, and her cheffing abilities…
What is your life motto?
Work hard, play hard.
What is your origin and vintage?
I am Chinese. My parents were born in mainland China but grew up as citizens of Taiwan. I was born in Saudi Arabia and am a citizen of the United States. I grew up the first 15 years of my life in Saudi Arabia and the rest in Los Angeles. I was born in 1980 and the best thing I’ve drank from that vintage was a 1980 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon.
How does the interior of the latest incarnation of Kitchen Table enhance the enjoyment of wine?
James was kind enough to allocate me a space for a real wine cellar! This allows me to have more storage to allow me to have more wines on our list. And more Champagne!
How is JKS involved?
Does your list still focus on Champagne?
More so than ever. I have expanded each producer with more of their cuvées, some very rare cuvées.
What is your ultimate aim for the list?
My aim of the list is to increase the selection of older and rare vintages of Burgundy and Rieslings.
How many courses do you serve at Kitchen Table, and how do you pair drinks alongside?
We currently have about 20 courses in total. It is almost impossible to pair each course with a different drink. Therefore, we try to bridge courses when possible.
Who does the musical playlist, and what hits should we expect?
James is in charge of the all-British playlist and you can a lot of Oasis.
Who has been a mentor to you?
During my time at Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table until now, it has been my good friend Sebastien Crozatier [founder of Clos Driver]. He’s been my guiding force of all Champagne-related things.
Tell us something surprising about yourself?
I used to be a chef and have cooked at Kitchen Table on some occasions when James is away or staff are needed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do a harvest when you have the opportunity.
Do you want your children to enter hospitality?
I would never encourage them to but I wouldn’t be disappointed if they did.
What grape or style of wine could you happily do without?
Napa Valley Cab.
Where would your fantasy vineyard be?
By the coast of Newport Beach California.
Who should prospective team members contact if they want to join your team, and what do you look for in candidates?
They should email us at email@example.com. I always look for personality first and foremost. They need to be genuine caring and kind people with passion and the energy for hospitality.