The first Savage Muse pop-up dinner was on July 8th and it was fantastic!  I had eleven very interesting, charming and enthusiastic guests show up to feast on course after course of home-cooking inspired by my mother and grandmother's Persian cooking, and infused with my own Savage Muse vibes.

The only major challenge I had was not having enough hands or time to take pictures and document the dishes I served, the table setting, and the amazing guests.  All that will change at the next dinner because the very talented Ghazal Sheei (@ghazalsheei) will be on hand to capture the moment and the dishes with her tasteful eye!

Here is a festive shot that my right hand lady, Erica Vasquez @la_supere, took while I was plating the dinner up in my kitchen.


For the second installation of the pop-up dinner series, I'm switching up some of the appetizers, main courses and desserts.  I will be introducing a sumac-infused labneh dip as part of the appetizer course.  Sumac is a tart and savory dried berry that is lovingly used in many Persian/Iranian/Turkish and other regions of the Middle East/South Asia. Labneh is yogurt that has been strained to remove its whey, resulting in a thicker consistency than unstrained yogurt, while preserving yogurt's distinctive, sour taste.

 Image from The Spice & Tea Exchange

Image from The Spice & Tea Exchange

For the main entrees, I will offer both meat and vegetarian options this time.  The meat dish will be the crowd-pleasing Herbed Meatballs with Pistachios in a Honey Pomegranate Glaze. The vegetarian dish is called "Khoreshteh Bademjaan", a traditional Persian eggplant braise that has a carmelized and tart flavor profile that is drool-worthy. Both will be served with a fluffy, aromatic dill & lima bean rice complete with tadig (a shell made of crunchy rice and thin potato slices) that makes the rice dish look almost like an upside-down cake when it is served!

A closeup of some Japanese eggplant that I swooned over at Super King Markets.  Look at that color!

Me tasting the pomegranate and rose "Persian Cocktail" I was serving at the dinner.

And this time for dessert, I'm going to switch it up and bring some Mashti Malone traditional Persian ice cream into the mix, with it's hints of saffron, rosewater and pistachio and cool, creamy gelato-like texture.  Check out this cool article on VICE.COM about Mashti Malone's ice cream legacy.

 Photo by: Javier Cabral

Photo by: Javier Cabral

A dinner guest's Instagram post (@gsamizay) of her "sabzi"- herbs and Bulgarian feta cheese, all part of the abundant appetizer platters.

Here are the posters and menus I designed for Pop-Up Dinner #2. 

If you'd like to join me at the table, click here to send me your reservation request.