Try This: DIY Terrarium Workshops

Check out our terarrium-making in action, dinosaurs, mimosas and all!

Check out our terrarium-making in action… dinosaurs, mimosas and all!

You know those little glass globes that seem to be quite trendy these days, with tiny little plants inside them, resembling a mini desert oasis of sorts? Well, ever since I saw the first one a couple years ago at a Patchwork Show in Long Beach with my mom, I’ve wanted to make one!

Thankfully, that craft dream was realized when my friend and fellow Tastemaker Laila invited me to take a DIY terrarium-building workshop at MakersKit in downtown Los Angeles. It was a day of mimosas, cupcakes, joking around with our witty instructor Jawn, and of course, learning how to build life-sustaining terrariums full of itty bitty plants… and even a plastic dinosaur and/or gnome or two (see video above).

While the rest of our friends and I sipped on mimosas, Josh led us through the process of properly layering our glass bowls. We started with tiny white volcanic rocks, which actually pull excess moisture away from the succulents and hold it at the bottom. This way, the globe doesn’t need holes at the bottom for water to drip out of and get messy. What a “neat” idea! (ha..ha)

A few of the steps to creating the different terrarium layers.

A few of the steps to creating the different terrarium layers (clockwise from top left)

Then, we layered as we pleased with glittery golden sand, a couple types of pebbles, and of course soil so our little low-maintenance plants can thrive. At the end, I couldn’t resist asking Jawn how long it would be until I risked killing my plants due to my lack of being home much.

Turns out, they only need to be watered about once a week if kept in the sun, and even less frequently otherwise. My kind of plants! Plus, the entire finished project is cool enough to use as a unique (and handmade!) design element in the home.

Check out the video above for the process and the final result in action. MakersKit also has other types of DIY kits on its website. They also have a YouTube channel with fun videos to help guide you through your crafting insecurities, should you have them. If you’re in L.A., you can definitely go in for a class, too. I highly recommend it as a group activity!

Tanayas Table DIY Terrarium Makerskit Mimosas Cupcakes

Now, pardon me if you don’t mind, while I go admire my mini Jurassic Park-themed terrarium.

It felt so good to get crafty again, and reminded me that I need to let my creative side out with different types of classes more often. Any ideas or suggestions for what to tackle next? Let me know! Let’s all go outside our self-imposed lines and try something totally new this month. Cheers!

 

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Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

VIDEO: How Chicken And Waffle Cones Are Made – Behind The Scenes Of A Food Truck Pop-Up

So here it is, the insider coverage + video exclusive on this highly anticipated chicken & waffle cone pop-up event!

Update to the previous post alerting you to the amazing chicken & waffle cones pop-up from Carb & Nation: Due to such high demand and continuous long lines, Carb & Nation will be serving both versions of their savory chicken & waffle cones for one more night– next Saturday night (10/4/14) to be exact, on the second night of their Tested LA Saturday night residency!

A common question that may come to mind is, how does one eat a savory waffle cone full of chicken and layers of other good stuff? Well, the guys offer forks with the cones, but from our experience we could just bite into the cone without it breaking apart.

The cone is sturdier and less sweet than your traditional waffle cone, as a result of the chefs’ unique recipe to cut the sugar in half without losing the crispiness of the cone. It’s amazing, actually!

So nope, no problems eating it straight out of the cone, and it’s actually quite delicious as you bite it and get layer by layer of complementary flavor. You can see the layers detailed in the photos below.

Check out the one-minute pre-opening video of their first (and epic) chicken and waffles pop-up yesterday. We even got to get a sneak peek of how they make their chicken & waffle cones (both American & Indonesian versions!) thanks to Chefs Fata Wijaya and Kevin Micheli.

Reporting straight from inside the food truck as they prepped to serve the gigantic line outside, Tanaya’s Table brings you the scoop on a new kind of food in a cone!

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

Tanaya’s Table brings you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how these innovative chefs make their savory cones… right from inside the food truck!

Here’s a photo of the American Cone, which has figs three ways. Fresh, dried… and in a Guinness beer reduction. Oh yes:

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

The American Cone, right before we devoured it.

And as promised, here is a breakdown of each cone and its layers of flavor and textures that all work so well together:

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

The Chicken and Waffle Cone Pop-Up Menu: The American Cone and Indonesian Cone

I highly recommend checking them out at Tested LA next weekend, as Oct. 4 will be your last chance to get your hands on these special cones! You can go anytime between 5-11 p.m. but I would suggest going early, as they ran out due to such large crowds on their first (and only, as originally planned) day of cone service.

One cone is definitely a meal in itself, costs $9 each and is totally worth the wait in line, judging from the reaction of the people I spoke with. We were fortunate to get the first cones of the day, as a result of filming them being built (woo hoo!), and I felt just a wee bit guilty walking by, biting into my cone while people in line fawned over it.

I assured them the wait was worth it, though… and it definitely was.

More photos and location details can be found in the preview post. Go get ’em while you can!

Food Protip: Chicken And Waffles. In A Cone. One Night Only!

Fried chicken cone indonesian

UPDATE 9/27: Due to such high demand and continuous long lines, Carb & Nation will be serving both versions of their savory chicken & waffle cones next Saturday night (10/4/14) on the second night of their Tested LA residency!

Fried chicken nestled in a waffle cone, in two globally inspired flavors. Who could possibly be the mastermind behind this fascinating food creation coming to Los Angeles this weekend?

That would be chef innovators Fata Wijaya and Kevin Micheli of the Carb & Nation food truck. The event will mark the kickoff to their Saturday night residency at Tested LA, and therefore although the chicken & waffle cones will be a pop-up event, Carb & Nation will actually be back with new goodies every Saturday night.

Here are all the details you need to get your hands on this extremely limited time– and extremely delicious– fusion fare:

Who: Carb & Nation

Where: Tested LA – 3329 Division St. Los Angeles 90065

When: Saturday, Sept. 27 ~ 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

I had the pleasure of meeting Carb & Nation chef Kevin Micheli at the ROAM Food Truck Academy seminar as part of the Western Foodservice Expo last month, and I’m excited to say that if you are unable to make it to the Glassell Park location, you can still partake in the hype via exclusive coverage right here, as I will be doing a pre-event collaboration with the chefs prior to their opening!

Stay tuned for the post, along with behind-the-scenes video coverage. I will also be posting live updates along with other foodie news as usual, on the Tanaya’s Table Twitter (@TanayaG) & Instagram accounts (@MsTanayaG). Connect with me on those social media handles to get the scoop firsthand, as always. On each platform I share exclusive food tips and content, and love having foodie conversations with all of you!

In the meantime, I present you with a visual sneak peek to get your tastebuds primed and ready for this Saturday night:

The American Waffle Cone

fried chicken cone modern american

Fried chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, goat cheese fondue, fig syrup and an apple slaw with lemon-coriander dressing. Tip: ask to add the housemade buttery habanero hot sauce if you like heat! (source: Carb & Nation)

 

The Indonesian Style Waffle Cone

Fried chicken cone indonesian

Indonesian fried chicken, coconut rice, pickled vegetables, coconut-kaffir lime syrup and sambal chili sauce. (source: Carb & Nation)

Other cities, be jealous. Or, just stay tuned for the Tanaya’s Table exclusive inside Carb & Nation’s chicken & waffle cone pop-up! 😉

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

Throwback Thursday: Food Fest Survival Guide

Given that summer is prime food festival season, I thought I’d share a little TBT article I wrote for Neon Tommy on food fest protips. Plus, here are links to a few foodie events coming up to put your new skills to the test:

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Food Festival Survival Tips: An Insider’s Guide

After regularly attending various tasting events, I’ve compiled a few tried-and-true tips for you, to maximize every food fest experience you encounter, without the learning curve (trust me, there is one!).

For attendees:

– If the fest takes place where there’s hot weather, bring water and sun protection. It will get hot, and it’s hard to keep scarfing down food while sweating profusely and getting scorched. Trust me on this one.

– Bring a tote bag to carry all the random (but awesome) freebies you’ll get, so you have both hands for eating! Sometimes you get tote bags at events, and sometimes you don’t. Since they can be folded up, you’re not risking much by taking one just in case.

– Come hungry, but pace yourself once you’re there. Be choosy and prioritize what you want to eat most, because those little bites add up faster than you think. The novice’s biggest mistake is to eat as much of everything they see as soon as they walk in, until they no longer can stuff their mouths with the food they really wish they had room for. This kind of tragedy kills me a little inside, personally. Don’t let it happen to you!

– Wear comfortable shoes and stretchy clothing. This is not a fashion show, people. Most of us are here to eat, not to teeter around in heels as we eat — and drink — excessively.

 

If you’re on the vendor side, some tips from a consumer standpoint include the following:

– Offer something small but unique, because you want to be worth every bite… because there are so many vendors to choose from. People may get full before they reach you, so you want to have something small but worth tasting!

– Incorporate something refreshing, if you can… or otherwise weather-appropriate, depending on the location and season. Sometimes, those are the most appealing and memorable bites.

– DEFINITELY have a written description of the food, because it serves neither you nor your customer if your dish was the best they’ve had, but they don’t even know what they ate. Having a sign enables you to focus on dishing out the food and greeting people instead of taking the time out to repeatedly describe it every two seconds. It also makes it easier on us food writers… just sayin’!

– Yes it can get tricky, but please try extra hard to bring enough of your advertised dish, because as an attendee, there’s nothing worse than missing out on what you wanted to try the most from your favorite vendor… and it’s not even halfway through the event. Having to settle for something you’re serving in place of the one thing we wanted most doesn’t compare, most of the time.

– When planning your dish, anticipate huge lines and have a game plan on how to turn the food around faster than you think you’ll need to!

– Smile! Occasionally, the lack of pleasant interaction has soured the experience of an otherwise great tasting. A friendly attitude when interacting with customers is what ties the whole food experience together, so please don’t forget that crucial step! People are excited to try your food, and a smile goes a long way.

Of course, many vendors have these things down pat, and there are a lot of logistics that make it much harder than it looks. But from a consumer standpoint, this is what we’d love to see. Anything else you’d like to add to either list, go ahead and add in the comments!

Reach Tanaya Ghosh here or follow her on Twitter.

— This article can originally be found on Neon Tommy. —

 

“Chef” Movie: 3 PR Lessons And A Lie Wrapped in a Chef’s Coat

Below is a guest post I wrote for the PRSA Young Professionals blog on “Chef” and the public relations industry. The film resonated with me on many levels. Not only from the PR perspective, but also many other facets of my identity– writer, food editor, travel lover, budding entrepreneur… and most of all, foodie adventurer. I wouldn’t willingly watch many movies over and over, but I’d definitely watch “Chef” again!

I hope you get to see (or have seen) this movie, and that you enjoy(ed)  it as much as I did!

 

Young Professionals of PRSA LA

Chef-2014-Movie-Poster1-650x955by Tanaya Ghosh

While watching the much-lauded film, “Chef,” I noticed that a lot of things actually made sense about the film. Not just the accuracy of the culinary scenes (which, too, were spot-on), but also a few aspects related to public relations. Being a PR strategist but also having worked on the journalism side, I found myself cheering the film on for some very important points it successfully illustrated. My hope is that this will help those not in our industry to better understand a few things about our work as well.

Not to fear, I won’t give away any critical parts of the movie. “Chef” is not strictly for foodies, because the human element of the film also resonates strongly. But seeing as we are PR folks who view the world through our uniquely strategic lenses, here are the 3 ways “Chef” draws attention to some important PR truths:

1. The Dangers, Benefits and Viral…

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