10 Things About Chef Claudia Sandoval & Mainly Mozart


“At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think.”
– Frida Kahlo

Since 1988, Mainly Mozart has brought the San Diego community together to experience the finest in orchestral music, intimate concert experiences, and extraordinary music education for young people. In that time, the famed Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival has made its name as the largest gathering of Concertmasters and Principal Players in the United States, boasting top level players from the world’s greatest orchestras. Master Chef Winner, Claudia Sandoval is the Culinary Director for the 2024 Mainly Mozart “Culinary Concerto” Gala.


#1 I was born and raised in National City and Shelltown.


#2 The favorite place I have traveled to thus far has been my family’s origin, Mazatlán, Sinaloa. There is something about the perfect sunsets, animated music, fresh seafood and beautiful green mountains.


#3 My dream is to visit Greece, the birthplace of Philosophy (my degree is in Philosophy).


#4 I love to serve myself a glass of wine, get in the kitchen with unknown ingredients and a great podcast or audible book. I can tune out the world and my mind by chopping, washing dishes and listening to something fun.


#5 I am empty nesting right now so the book I am really loving is Anita Yokota’s “Home Therapy”. She is a therapist turned interior designer.


#6 I have 3 Cats and 1 Pug. Most everyone knows my Pug Namor because he is so rambunctious and animated.


#7 I am a big believer in you get out what you put in. My community has carried me when I had nothing to offer. For the same reason, it is important to offer those same supports to those in our communities.


#8 I found out about Mainly Mozart’s work in the community and with children. I found out about their work across the border in Tijuana. And I heard about their work in the Autism Community. For me these three focuses really hit home, and I wanted to do more. I am here because I believe in the power that music and the arts can have on a growing mind and how it helps to bridge divides. Mainly Mozart’s commitment to community and our region is exactly why I plan on being around long term.


#9 Through our youth orchestra, we are ensuring the preservation and appreciation of classical music by giving young musicians the opportunity to learn and perform together.


#10 It takes people like Erin and Howard Pearl, the chairs for the Culinary Concerto Gala, to welcome people like me to the table. We will create magic together and I am so grateful for every person that has opened a door for me along the way!


Mainly Mozart
“Culinary Concerto”
March 22, 2024
The Julep – 1735 Hancock Street

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Kamran Saeed