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Cara Sandoval

Private Events & Business Manager

In a former life while studying at art school in Baltimore, Cara Sandoval thought she would be making her living as a photographer, until she learned how all of her friends were working in restaurants. She was drawn into the culinary world because it was rooted in connecting with people, and she discovered the relationships she was making in kitchens were stronger than others she made anywhere else. After working at various roles throughout the Mid-Atlantic, she would soon immerse herself into the world of fine dining, which she saw as the ultimate culmination of all arts and performance.

She was part of the opening team of Michelin-starred Senza back in 2012, which is where she learned the nature of fine dining. She then moved on to help open two-Michelin starred Oriole in the West Loop as a part owner, where she solidified her belief that fine dining is a performance, and chefs create an unforgettable experience to bring the world’s most interesting people together. She followed up her time at Oriole with a run at Le Select before making her way to join Chefs John and Karen Urie Shields at Smyth + The Loyalist.

She has always admired the Shieldses ever since she first dined at Town House in 2010, and followed their moves closely ever since. She was drawn to Smyth + The Loyalist from the uncanny warmth and generosity she experienced whenever she visited, and knew she wanted to be part of their camaraderie. Sandoval oversees all facets of private dining and event planning for Smyth + The Loyalist. What she loves most about the restaurants is how they feel like a place where she can spend hours hanging out and giving herself opportunities to be introduced to people she normally would never meet. 

She believes the tasting experience is a journey of vulnerability shared by both the chefs and the guest. By pulling our cards away from our chests, Sandoval believes a tasting experience quickly turns strangers into friends one dish at a time, and she’s at Smyth + The Loyalist to take that journey with you.