Food From near and far

Andrés Sandoval, Chef at Canaima

Published on 03/12/2021

Since 2019, Andrés Sandoval has served up joyful food that combines venezuelan traditions with french techniques at the restaurant Canaima.


Andrés Sandoval never tires of food. Like all chefs, he enjoys eating, but, above all, this profession “that comes from the heart […] to bring people pleasure.” His passion was born in Venezuela among the women in his family who cooked a lot and then as a writer for a local webzine. There, he produced top five reviews of restaurants. His uncle introduced him to wines and he “always talked about Paul Bocuse.” So, at the age of 24, he arrived in France, accompanied by his girfriend Veronica Suñé, choosing Lyon and Institut Paul Bocuse to learn French cuisine.

After graduating, he opened his own restaurant, Canaima, in October 2019, at the bottom of the slopes of Croix-Rousse Hill. The name was inspired by a feeling of bliss he experienced at Canaima National Park, located on the Guayanan Highlands near the Brazilian border. The food prepared by this thirty-something subtly blends Venezuelan traditions and French techniques. He likes to take diners “on a journey” with his flavour combinations, including sweet and sour, and places great importance in his pointillist presentations, because “we eat with our eyes first.”

“We eat with our eyes first.”

A taste for travel

The avocado, a fruit that grew abundantly in his garden, accompanies the chuck steak. The arepas, corn flatcakes, are “must-trys”, while the cromesquis croquettes are filled with plantain. What does he miss? Ingredients such as guava, soursop (a kind of fruit) and katara, a hot Amazonian spice, made with “ant bottoms” and, above all, the cachapa, a corn pancake stuffed with fresh goat’s cheese and cooked on a griddle.

He is a gourmet and finds comfort in Lyonnaise cuisine, which he loves, including calf sweetbread with morel mushrooms at Bistrot Abel, the calf’s head at Bouchon Sully, Lyonnaise tripes, pâté en croûte (pâté in pastry) at the market on Place Montgolfier (Lyon 69006), and the praluline (brioche with pralines).

Short Bio

  • 1989: Born in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 2014: Arrival in Lyon, where he took a year of lessons to learn French.
  • 2015: Beginning of his course at Institut Paul Bocuse.
  • 2019: Opening of the restaurant Canaima.
  • 2021: Referenced by the Michelin Guide as one of Lyon’s top foreign chefs.