VIDEO: Oscars Governors Ball Sneak Peek – In The Kitchen With Wolfgang Puck

With all the The Oscars buzz going on, I must admit something. As much as I admire all the actors’ talents for their craft, what really gets me excited is knowing what the stars will be eating after Hollywood’s biggest night.

That’s why when Wolfgang Puck invited me in for a very special behind-the-scenes look at his incredible catering operation from the prep kitchens at Hollywood & Highland, I was over the moon.

Upon getting our exclusive credentials, we got our very own Press Guide to take us through The 88th Oscars construction and setup to get to Wolfgang Puck Catering’s massive prep kitchen. As soon as the doors opened and I peeked in, I saw a virtually endless array of edible art, in the form of brightly colored hors-d’oeuvres, dishes and desserts. Check out the video for some colorful glimpses!

When I arrived, Chef Wolfgang’s all-star team was working away diligently on filling thousands of fresh artichoke-truffle agnolotti pasta, spraying 24-karat gold onto intricate, mini chocolate replicas of the Oscar statuette, and so much more. It really was a well-oiled machine, with meticulous care put into every detail.

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Gold Chocolate

After wandering around and chatting with the chefs, we gathered around the one and only Chef Wolfgang Puck for a very warm, intimate cooking demonstration from the legend himself. Despite his renowned stature, he spoke with us as if he knew us personally, like he was cooking for us out of his own kitchen.

As he told stories of how his children help him in the kitchen, and which famous friends of his like which types of his dishes, he cooked up a shrimp, crab and scallop dish with a flavorful Chinese sauce. Check out the video for a shot of him flambée-ing!

Some of the cool tidbits I learned through conversation with him include the fact that although Wolfgang enjoys food with bold flavors, he understands that there are many guests at these large-scale events who still enjoy his truffle chicken pot pie, baked mac and cheese, and other comfort classics. Thus, he makes sure to include something for every palate in the 50+ items he creates for the Governors Ball, which he’s catered for the past 22 years!

Wolfgang also mentioned that not as many celebrities have gone vegan or gluten-free as one might think (although he does have options of each on the vast menu). He explained that after weeks of not eating too much in order to prepare for the awards show, “They tell me, ‘Wolfgang, give me all the food!'”

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Caviar

Included among “all the food” will be mini crispy bibimbap, a poke bar, stone crab claws and oysters at the seafood bar, baked potatoes with caviar (pictured), white grape and almond gazpacho, and wagyu short rib. Talk about edible opulence!

Now, if you know me, you know my sweet tooth jumped for joy when I saw the mini setup of the Chocolate Buffet they’ll have at the Governors Ball. Among the 30+ types of desserts to be served, a few include: Caramel-filled Oscars statuette lollipops, a macaron tower, sweet tacos with pistachio lady fingers and market cherries, mini yuzu tarts, chocolate peanut butter ring dings, raspberry panna cotta with champagne caviar, and lemon meringue tart lollipops. There really will be something for everyone, from celebs who prefer familiar classics, to those who enjoy a little extra elegance and flair!

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Desserts

I also learned that Wolfgang Puck also caters international awards shows all over the world! I love that when we asked how he chooses the menu for each prestigious event, he said he chooses based on what’s seasonal, local, and what his carefully curated suppliers have available for him.

Even for The Oscars, the team has been going on multiple trips to the local farmer’s market, and has sourced ingredients from local farms, orchards, dairies and ranches.

To give you an idea of the scale of the operation (of which you can start to get an idea through the video), The Oscars Governors Ball will have 1500 guests, with a whopping 950 staff to cater to their wants and needs. The culinary staff consists of 350 talented people. To name a few ingredients, they will be working with 10 kilos of American farm-raised caviar and 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna.

Heck, there will even be 15 pounds of winter black truffles straight from Burgundy, France and 300 pounds of Snake River Wagyu short rib. There will also be 6,500 wood-fired, Oscar-shaped  flatbread!

As for dessert, 3o pounds of edible real gold dust will be used, as well as 100,000 pieces of dark chocolate Couverture pistoles and 2400 bottles of Piper Heidsieck champagne. The coolest part is that there are 3,000 custom Oscar boxes to house the infamous gold-covered chocolates, and Wolfgang Puck personally handed me one as a parting gift! Guess there’s only 2,999 of them left now!

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Me

Thanks to Chef Wolfgang Puck and his catering team for a special behind-the-scenes experience I’ll never forget… and for handing me this 24-karat gold covered, solid chocolate Oscar statuette!

If you’re hosting an Oscars watch party, check out some of the recipes you can make, straight from Wolfgang Puck… that way, you’ll be dining like the stars during Hollywood’s biggest night! Check out the recipes on the Wolfgang Puck Catering official page.

This year more than ever, I will be immersed in all things Oscars… especially because I’m grateful to have gotten a taste of what the stars will be gorging on after the show ends. 😉 Cheers!

 

Advertisements

Behind The Scenes At The GRAMMYs Gift Lounge

When you think of the perks of stardom, you really have no idea just how many mindblowing treats they get… especially when they’re performing or presenting at the GRAMMY Awards®.

Having been invited to get an insider tour of the 58th Annual GRAMMY® Gift Lounge, I’m happy to give you a little taste of what it’s like to be pampered for your musical talents (or journalistic talents, in my case… ha ha).

Over the course of GRAMMY weekend, presenters and performers such as Adele, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Sam Hunt, Carrie Underwood, The Weeknd, Lionel Richie, Johnny Depp and Little Big Town experienced the interactive lounge in which they received thank you gifts in acknowledgment of their participation in “Music’s Biggest Night.”

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY LL Cool J WireImage

Rapper LL Cool J eyeing those chocolates (WireImage)

The day I visited the cushy lounge set up next to Staples Center (where the GRAMMYs would be held) a couple days before the awards show, tons of talent like 5-time host LL Cool J, Diplo and Bow Wow also dropped by to check out the goods curated by Lash Fary and Distinctive Assets.

The LA-based entertainment marketing company is known for starting the celebrity swag bag craze 16 years ago, so I guess we have them to thank in part for the ironic concept that the more rich and famous you get, the more free stuff you get. I mean, each gift bag was apparently worth a whopping $22,000 with all the curated goodies inside!

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY Bow Wow Diplo WireImage

Musical artists Bow Wow and Diplo (WireImage)

So without further ado, I present you with the scoop on some of the coolest toys, tools and treats I found inside the exclusive star-studded GRAMMYs gift lounge:

Tools By Gina – Pure infrared professional blow dryers and flat irons from hair expert Gina Rivera. The infrared technology is the first of its kind, steaming the hair instead of applying direct heat, thus restoring natural shine.

Phillip Ashley Chocolates’ Luxe Collection – Chocolate covered caramels infused with Louis XIII cognac, with each piece weighing 30 grams and hand-gilded with 23k gold leaf. It costs $3,000 for one seven-piece box, making it one of the top ten most expensive chocolates in the world. Insane, right?

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Chocolate Gold Louis XIII

Louis XIII Cognac-infused, 23k gold leaf $3,000 chocolates

FitClubTV: Live in Fitness retreat + Fit Culture Threads designer workout apparel + Fit Culture Fuel health & performance supplements – Loved the passion behind all of these lines geared towards fitness, and especially loved that they’re giving back with a ton of free workout videos and more with the launch of FitClubTV.

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Hat

Loved this Flos Floris snapback hat

Flos Floris snapback hats from Milan, Italy – Universal appeal, cool design, comfy to wear. What more can you ask for?

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Drink

The Price of Love cocktail

Custom cocktails & mixology from The Natural Mixologist – I really liked The Price of Love cocktail made with Penthouse The Scarlet Sparkling Shiraz, organic orange elixir, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and orange liqueur. I especially loved that it was garnished with tiny heart-shaped rose petals.

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY LL Cool J Drink WireImage

LL Cool J sipping the cocktails I just tried! (WireImage)

NOON VR headsets – Loved the realistic smooth-panning, 360-degree visuals!

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2016

Trying out NOON Virtual Reality

SCUF Gaming Infinity 1 professional customized controllers and accessories – Gamers will geek out over how insanely customizable and comfortable these controllers are. I personally loved the red and black one! Check out all the specs if you’re into gaming.

SIS by Simone I. Smith jewelry – Created by LL Cool J’s wife after she won the battle with cancer, she started this line in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Find out more on these adorable candy-esque trinkets for a good cause here.

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY Candy Jewelry

Candy SIS by Simone I. Smith jewelry to help fight cancer (WireImage)

truth x Vans by Kevin Lyons one-of-a-kind sneakers that encourage everyone to use their voices and creativity to end smoking for good – I absolutely LOVED the concept of their newest #CATmageddon campaign, with the main message being that you are harming your pets and increasing their risk of cancer if you smoke.

Tanayas Table GRAMMY truth Vans

Secondhand smoke harms your pets, too. So PLEASE STOP!

They even had truth Treats for pets so that celebs’ furry friends waiting for them at home wouldn’t feel left out while their owners were out performing or presenting GRAMMYs! Find out how you can snag the statement shoes for a great cause, and see what they actually look like right here.

“It is a true honor to be even a very small part of (The GRAMMYs),” said Distinctive Assets’ founder Lash Fary. “The GRAMMY Gift Lounge has become one of the most lauded gift events in the world, which seems fitting based on the incomparable stature of the show itself.” Lash Fary was joined by longtime event producer Pam Morrison, who oversaw all elements of the lounge design.

I’m definitely very grateful for the opportunity to get a taste of what kind of star treatment the GRAMMYs talent gets in the Gift Lounge, and to experience a lot of it for myself… especially since the GRAMMYs are one of my favorite awards shows every year! Until next time, cheers! 🙂

 

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies - copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table

RECIPE: Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies For The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Note: So many travel adventures to share with you all! Stay tuned in 2016 for some exciting news with Tanaya’s Travels!

I grew up loving the holidays so much that there are recordings of me singing Christmas songs year-round. Even in 75-degree weather, every so often on family road trips I’d bust out with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” (Yup, for some reason I placed great emphasis on the “wish” part.)

The holidays just gave me such a joyful feeling, a feeling of safety and love and happiness thanks to my festive and fun-loving family.

Something extra I looked forward to this holiday season was participating in the annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, since really I enjoyed doing it last year despite going through some tough times during the holidays. I suppose it brought a bit of normalcy to my anything-but-normal year in 2014.

Last year, I made Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies. Since this holiday season had a strange kind of calm to it in comparison to my 2014, I decided my cookies should reflect that. Because what’s better than sitting back with a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate when you’re catching a much-needed (somewhat of a) break?

I decided to infuse some Merlot for a little tang, as well as some Himalayan Pink Salt to balance and round out the sweetness of this decadent, fudgy cookie. Here’s the recipe, hope you enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies - copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table

DARK CHOCOLATE RED WINE COOKIES

Ingredients: (makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies) – Adapted from Simply Scratch

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter (softened)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot, but you could use pinot noir, red zinfandel or any red table wine you’d enjoy with chocolate)

3/4 bag (about 10 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chunks)

1 teaspoon Himlayan pink salt (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt & baking soda.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing  bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Next, add in the egg, vanilla & red wine. Mix together until well incorporated.

Gradually add dry ingredients until well combined, folding chocolate chips in last.

The batter will have a mousse-like, slightly fluffy consistency. Oh, and it tastes DIVINE!

Place heaping teaspoons or tablespoons (depending on size desired) onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a couple inches apart.

Sprinkle a few flakes of Himalayan pink salt on top of cookies, if desired.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size and desired gooey or crunchy level.

If you’re sending your cookies across the country like I did for this cookie swap, bake those batches a little longer. Otherwise, enjoy these moist, gooey, chocolatey wine-infused cookies to enjoy at home or to share… and be proud of yourself for finding a delicious way to enjoy your dark chocolate and red wine antioxidants! 😉

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

I sent these cookies to the fab bloggers at Freshly Baked SweetsIn Natalie’s Shoes and Hye Thyme Cafe. I also received some incredible cookies from the talented bloggers of Sweet-E Pie & Babycakes, Kitchen Gidget and Creative Touch. Thanks for so much cookie love, everyone!

Check out the Tanaya’s Table Instagram photos with the #fbcookieswap hashtag for photos of the awesome treats. Participating bloggers’ cookie recipes, including mine, can be found here. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

 

Recipe: Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies For The Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Tanayas Table Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies 1

What’s better than cookies and pie? How about cookies AND pie, wrapped into one delicious and decadent holiday cookie?

Pecan pie is a favorite with my family during the holidays… so I thought, why not blend our favorite pie into cookie form for my first year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for a great cause?

Official Food Blogger FB Cookie Swap 2014 Badge Tanaya's Table

These Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies are gooey, sticky and nutty with a hint of chocolate and the aroma of vanilla and bourbon to bring it all together. I thought they would make great batches to send to three of my fellow food bloggers to whom I was assigned to send holiday cheer… in the form of cookies, of course.

I also baked some more of these cookies to share with my fellow Los Angeles-based food bloggers at our annual holiday cookie swap. Last year I made red velvet gooey butter cookies, and these pecan pie cookies seemed to be just as big a hit! In fact, all my fellow food blogger friends brought something irresistible to the table.

Check out this one-minute Tastemade video for an overview!

The most delectable cookies made in L.A. all crammed into a 1-minute video!

The most delectable cookies made in L.A. all crammed into a 1-minute video!

Being especially short on time this year due to family circumstances, instead starting from scratch in formulating this cookie-pie mashup recipe, I decided to do a little background research first. After all, reinventing the wheel is not the greatest use of time, right?

Thank goodness for this Spend With Pennies recipe, because it provided me with a solid base and allowed me more time to adapt the recipe to my taste… and to dress it up with a little bourbon love!

You can definitely modify the recipe below however you would like, depending on how much time you’ve got to do your holiday baking this year. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Perhaps you can even start your own cookie swap tradition!

Tanayas Table Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies 2

Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies

Ingredients

    • 1 prepared pie crust (check out Crazy for Crust’s all butter from-scratch recipe here)
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted & chopped
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup corn syrup
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 large eggs, beaten (set aside 2 tablespoons for egg wash)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup bourbon (or more, if desired!)
    • 1/4 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chips (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, bourbon and salt. Over low heat, slowly stir in eggs (minus the 2 tablespoons for egg wash). Continue to slowly stir on stove over medium-low heat just until slightly thickened (just about the consistency of pudding). Stir in vanilla, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Roll out dough and use a 3″ cookie cutter (I used the rim of a glass) to cut out circles. Gently fold the edges in, about 1/8-1/4″
  4. Brush the egg wash around the pie crust edges for a glossy finish. Sprinkle with granulated sugar for a golden brown crust, if desired.
  5. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of the pecan pie filling into each circle. Top with chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until filling is just set and crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Speaking of cookies, the L.A. Cookie Con & Sweets Show is coming in January! Stay tuned to receive a discount code for Tanaya’s Table followers, plus a behind-the-scenes video of the newest bakery to open in Hollywood serving unique, internationally inspired baked goods!

L.A. Cookie Con Official Blogger Badge Tanaya's Table

Treatoberfest 2 With L.A. Foodie At Angel City Brewery

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

Video: Crazy costumes, silly dancing with Sam & the L.A. Foodie guys, plus my dog Jellybean’s cameo in a rainbow wig.

This past weekend, my friend Sam and I spent the day hopping to 4 different Halloween events. This means we spent the day drawing weird looks from people since we walked around in costume all day.

If you’re wondering what we dressed as, here it is, plus you can see some dorky costumed dancing in the video above. It also goes with the theme of some other posts I’ve been doing, with the Sriracha Series!

Jelly Tanaya Sriracha Halloween costumes 2014

Our costumes. A clown and a bottle of Sriracha!

After visiting the Grand Central Market in costume to receive free small treats from an array of eateries such as Sticky Rice, Las Morelianas, Berlin Currywurst, Olio Pizzeria, Horse Thief BBQ and DTLA Cheese, we headed over to Treatoberfest 2, L.A. Foodie’s Halloween event featuring sweet treats from a variety of vendors. The video captures fun highlights, and here are the details:

One of my favorites was the sweet & spicy limited edition popcorn from Popsalot Gourmet Popcorn, called The Screamsicle. It had a unique flavor combination of blood orange, vanilla bean and ghost pepper, and really did taste like a spicy creamsicle in popcorn form. I also appreciated the festive references to Halloween in the ingredients. Blood orange, ghost pepper… so cheeky and clever!

The Screamsicle gourmet popcorn flavor from Popsalot. Complete with googly eyes!

The Screamsicle gourmet popcorn flavor from Popsalot… complete with googly eyes!

Other unique bites came from Chocolatier Blue, a gourmet chocolate maker all the way from Berkeley. They incorporated pumpkin, sage, root beer, rosemary and more into their various chocolate confections with creamy centers. Popsicle Culture had interesting flavors such as the L.A. spicy pineapple and the margarita pops.

Peddler’s Creamery also scooped frozen treats in the form of their bicycle-churned ice cream, whereas Sweet Spils ran out way early but we managed to snag a a couple of mini pumpkin chocolate cupcakes. The Kandy Jar served samples of their toffee and Angel City Brewery debuted their new seasonal beers on tap, for purchase.

We tried the Rum-Aged Mexican Cola, a medium-bodied brew with citrus peel, tamarind, vanilla bean and Mexican Coca-Cola aged six-months in a rum barrel. You can check it out, along all the other treats (plus dorky dancing courtesy of me, Sam and Ben & Drew from L.A. Foodie… and a cameo by my dog, Jellybean… in a rainbow wig) above.

Happy Halloween week from (15-year-old) Jellybean and me!

Jelly Tanaya Halloween Costumes 2014

Jellybean the Halloweenie dog!

More Halloween fun to come, including DIY projects straight from the set of Home & Family on the Universal Studios lot, and a couple of new opening sneak previews… of Steak ‘N Shake’s first California location and Ice Cream Lab’s Pasadena opening, to be exact! Stay tuned 🙂