PLANT BASED PERSIAN SUPPER + SALON (SEP 22)

Message me here to book a seat.

Persian food, with it’s bounteous recipes using fresh herbs, colorful vegetables, aromatic rice dishes and soulful stews & braises is easily adapted for a plant-based diet and lifestyle.

I have taken some favorite classic dishes and created savory, herbaceous, satisfying versions using only plant-based ingredients.

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MEZE SPREAD + COCKTAIL HOUR:

We will start the evening by gathering around in my living room for a lavish spread of plant-based Persian + Mediterranean meze small bite appetizers. I will also be serving my signature “Persian Persuasion” Cocktails + Mocktails.

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MAIN COURSES

After we have had our fill of small bites and getting to meet and chat with the other dinner guests, we will sit down for the main event.

I will be serving one of my signature tahdig crust rice dishes. Tahdig means “bottom of the pot” and is the crunchy shell created around the rice dish. For this particular dinner, I will be serving the vegan lentil + saffron rice with carmelized raisins + cranberries served on top.

This rice dish will be paired with a vegan version of a Persian classic “Khoreshteh Bademjoon” or Eggplant Braise. This savory and tangy dish is a slow-cooked braise of globe eggplants, plum tomatoes, onions, garlic, unripe grapes, and a dash of cinnamon to add a warmth and slight sweetness to the dish.

Rounding out the main courses will be a Fatoush Salad and a vegan version of the popular Cucumber Yogurt sauce, perfect for drizzling on top of the rice.

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DESSERT + PERSIAN TEA SERVICE

We will need a minute to let the lavish meal digest before we move onto dessert. Once we are ready to bring some sweetness into the mix, I will serve a fantastic Persian Bakhlava and a Gluten-Free Persian Almond Cookie. There will also be a mixed berry salad tossed in an orange blossom + mint sauce for a refreshing and light post meal treat. I will also be serving traditional Persian Black Tea and caffeine-free herbal teas for folks who would enjoy a cup of tea with dessert.

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HOW TO BOOK A SEAT

You can email me at info@savagemuse.com or click here and send me a message to let me know you would like to book a seat at the September 22 dinner. I will follow up with all the details and confirm your reservation. This dinner is sliding scale suggested donation of $40-$55. I take cash, Venmo and PayPal for donations to the dinner.

WEEKDAY "CHILL" SUPPER SERIES: PESCATARIAN MENU ON 9/13!

I'm super excited to try out this new menu on guests at my next "WEEKDAY CHILL" SUPPER. 

We will start off with drinks and a meze spread of small bites in my living room and enjoy the view of the sunset from my balcony.  The spread includes the showstopper "Persian Herb & Feta Platter" that pairs tangy Bulgarian Sheep Feta with fresh herbs: basil, mint, cilantro; Persian cucumbers, radish and scallions.  Served with fresh Sangak stone-oven bread and two dips.  This is a decadent way to start the gathering!

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The main course will include my Roasted Salmon with tart & sweet carmelized onion and barberry relish; an insanely delicious Mediterrenean Slaw Salad in a garlicky & creamy Labneh dressing and a Fava Bean & Dill Rice with Potato Tahdig (crunchy bottom of the crust).

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Message me here if you would like to reserve a seat for the dinner on Thursday, September 13, 2018.

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Message me here if you would like to reserve a seat for the dinner on Thursday, September 13, 2018.

 

 

PERSIAN PIZZA SALON: MAY 19TH

I will be hosting a delicious and memorable Persian Pizza Salons at my home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles on Saturday May 19th.  This dinner will be a lavish, multi-course experience beginning with savory appetizers served in my intimate living room, along with complimentary signature drinks- my Persian Persuasion cocktail (and mocktail).

Following the mingling and appetizers, we will get seated at my communal table for a feast of three unique & gourmet Persian Pizzas that I will create and serve in courses.  Each pizza is created on rustic Persian stone oven flat breads: Sangak and Barbari breads.  I create my own custom pizza flavors using authentic Persian flavors such as fenugreek, barberries, feta and a variety of herbs & spices from my motherland. During the course of the meal, we will engage in lively conversations and get a chance to learn fun and interesting things about each other.

After this multi-course dinner, I will serve dessert and Persian Tea Service.  Dessert includes the classic "Akbar Mashti" Persian Ice Cream with flavors of saffron, pistachio, cardamom and rose water. I will also serve bakhlava, a wonderful compliment to Persian Tea and a delicious way to end the night on a sweet note.

FULL MENU:

Below is the full menu (designed by me):

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HOW TO RESERVE A SEAT:

There are multiple ways you can book a seat for this dinner.  The cost is $45 (all inclusive) for this uniquely delicious experience.

Paypal: PayPal.Me/savagemuse

Kitchen Table App (free dining app): https://www.thekitchentableapp.com/meals/1189

Or contact me here with any questions or to book directly thru me!

SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER SERIES

In addition my extensive background as a lifestyle/product designer & illustrator, I am also a passionate cook, event planner & hostess. I curate special dinners at my home in Silver Lake, where everything from the layout & styling of the tableware to the graphic design of the menu are part of my creative process. 

Because I am a believer of the indoor/outdoor dining lifestyle, I am a big fan of beautifully designed melamine tableware that can be bold, colorful, memorable while also easy to handle and clean.

 Having a moment of contemplation before my guests arrive for a recent SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER at my home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

Having a moment of contemplation before my guests arrive for a recent SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER at my home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

Below is an example of one of the menus I designed for a POP-UP DINNER earlier this summer.  I designed both the graphics/visuals/branding of the menu as well as designing the dishes and offerings on the menu.

Below are some more visuals from the events. 

SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER #3: PESCATARIAN FRIENDLY MENU!

I've decided to switch the menu up a bit for the third installation of the SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER SERIES and introduce this incredibly savory and unique wild salmon dish that I recently created in my kitchen.

This roasted fillet of salmon is topped with carmelized turmeric onion, tart barberries and some dried dill to round out the flavors with a little herbaceous lift to it.

Close-up of the wild salmon with carmelized turmeric onions and tart barberries. Photo: Parisa Parnian

For those of you who are not familiar with barberries, here is a little more information:  Barberries are these incredible savory and tart berries that come from a thorny bush.  Iranians called it "zereshk" and use the dried barberry in many dishes for its pleasant tart and fruity flavor.  Here is an article about the health benefits of barberries.

The barberry, also known by Iranians as "Zereshk".

All the other vegetarian dishes from the last pop-up dinner will still be on the menu for this third dinner in the series.  At the last pop-up, the guests were going nuts over the labne sumac dip that I served as part of the appetizer spread.  They seriously were devouring it like it was crack.  I will make sure that this dish is well represented again in the upcoming dinner!

The labne sumac dip before the attack by the guests began!  Photo by @workalook

Below is the official menu and posters for the third SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER.  If you would like reserve a seat(s), email me at info@savagemuse.com or click here.

Contact me here if you would like to make a reservation for this dinner!

Contact me here if you'd like to make a reservation for the upcoming dinner!

Contact me here if you'd like to make a reservation for the upcoming dinner!

SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER SERIES #2: JULY 29TH IN SILVER LAKE, LA

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.

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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. 

The Art of Creating Community Around a Queer Iranian Immigrant's Table.

This past Saturday, I hosted the second installment of a pop-up dinner party series at my home in Los Angeles.  I was meeting and greeting all the dinner guests when one of them, who was a friend of a friend, asked me what the purpose of my dinner party was.

That question took me by surprise.  I guess I just assumed everyone who had signed up to come to this gathering was looking to have a delicious culinary experience and maybe meet some new people.  As I took a minute to gather my thoughts and respond to his question, I had to dig deep and ask myself what exactly the purpose of these dinner parties are.

A photo of me taken before guests began arriving on Saturday....the calm before the (awesome) storm of hostessing a dinner party!  Photo credit:  Tina June

Although I have made my living for the past 20 years as a fashion/ lifestyle designer and visual artist, cooking and feeding people has been a recurring theme in my life for as long as I can remember.  As with many immigrant families, sharing a communal meal of large platters of food has been a part of my upbringing. It is one of the most significant and accessible ways for friends and family to experience a sense of abundance, even during the most difficult of times. 

In my early childhood, my parents had lost all their wealth and possessions during the Iranian Revolution and had to start over in Arizona with only their talent and determination. I remember the joy of gathering around the dinner table for large platters of buttery, fluffy basmati rice and slow-cooked braised eggplant to ease and comfort us in our somewhat hostile and foreign environment (where our white Republican neighbors were both suspicious of and slightly fearful of us.)

Khoreshteh Bademjaan (Eggplant Braise) I made for my recent pop-up dinner.  Photo credit: Tina June

Later in my young adult life, when I had moved to New York City in the mid 90's to study fashion at Parsons School of Design, I came out to my parents over the phone while stirring a pot of Ghormeh Sabzi to feed a couple of queer Iranian friends who were visiting me from San Francisco. 

Ironically, I had been told that when a woman has mastered cooking this national dish, that she was ready for marriage. In my case, mastering Ghormeh Sabzi gave me the courage to come out as queer.

Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Green Herb Stew)  Photo and recipe at: Maman's Kitchen

Breaking bread and sharing the dishes of our motherlands became a big part of the underground queer Arab/Middle-Eastern/Iranian/SWANA scene back in the 90's and early 2000's as well.  Long before we had social media to connect us, those of us who were part of these diasporas that had denied our queer/trans existence, were hosting dinner parties and potlucks in our humble apartments and walk-ups in Brooklyn, Queens, San Francisco, Oakland, and many cities in between.  We shared stories of both the positive and sometimes devastating effects of our coming out to our respective families, as well as held space for those of us who were still living in the shadows that we called the closet.

Every dinner party starts with "breaking bread"-- in this case, with the delicious sourdough flat bread of Iran called "sangak".

I moved around a bunch in my twenties and thirties for my fashion/design career: from New York to Minneapolis and back to Brooklyn before moving West and spending some time in the Bay Area before making Los Angeles my home seven years ago.  Every time I start over in a new town, my first impulse has been to build community by inviting folks over to my home for an authentic Persian/Iranian meal.

One of the dill & fava bean rice dishes I made for last Saturday's dinner.  The crust is made with saffron, yogurt and potatoes embedded in the crunchy rice. In Farsi, this is called "Tahdig" which means "bottom of the pot".  Photo credit: Tina June

Building community in LA has proven to be a completely different animal than what I have experienced in any other city I have lived in.  Folks here are over-scheduled, over-worked, over-committed and have to factor in commutes, parking and geography every time they want to make a social commitment. People tend to congregate mostly with others who work in the same field as they do (read entertainment/movie industry).  That organic way in which I have met and built friendships in other towns has proven to be rather ineffective in LaLa Land. 

Table setting I designed for the SAVAGE MUSE pop-up dinner series.  Pictured on the table are some of the "mezze" style appetizers: Naan'o'Panir (the Persian cheese and herb plate along with Sangak bread). Photo credit:  Tina June

For me, creating these SAVAGE MUSE pop-up dinner parties is partly a way to bring together other folks who fall under the intersectional umbrella of mixed cultures, heritages, sexual and gender orientations, occupations and creative interests to come together and break bread together in a visually inviting, comfortable space. 

Guests enjoying the "mezze" style appetizers in the outdoor garden area. Photo credit: Tina June

Later in the evening as the guests enjoy the main feast under the mid-summer night sky.  Photo credit: Tina June

It is also partly a way for me to more fully express my potential as a lifestyle/brand designer, event creator, visual artist and creative director who can create a seamless brand from the menu design to the social media marketing to the table setting to who I staff and what food I cook and serve.  Every aspect of these dinner parties is part of the "Savage Muse" philosophy and aesthetic.

Table setting I designed for the SAVAGE MUSE Pop-Up Dinners.  Pattern-mixing, bold colors and textile prints from around the world are essential to the SAVAGE MUSE style.  Photo credit: Tina June

The menu I designed for the SAVAGE MUSE Pop-Up Dinner series.  I love playing with colors and taking visual design risks!

If you would like to get notified of upcoming SAVAGE MUSE events or read future posts and stories, subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this page or click here to send me your contact info.  I hope to see you at a future SAVAGE MUSE event!

 

 

 

 

 

SAVAGE MUSE POP-UP DINNER SERIES #1: IN SILVER LAKE, LOS ANGELES!

I am hosting the first in a series of SAVAGE MUSE Pop-Up Dinner Parties this Saturday, July 8th in a lovely outdoor space in the heart of Silver Lake, Los Angeles.   There will be an abundance of savory and sweet, aromatic and flavorful dishes served all inspired by the cooking of my Persian heritage and ancestors, along with my own twists and interpretations along the way.

In addition to gathering around to eat, drink and be merry, there will be a story-telling element to the evening that will be revealed to the guests during the event.

I am limiting this first dinner party to about 10 guests.  If you would like to reserve a spot, send me an RSVP here and I will get back to you with more details. 

Can't make it but want to know about future dinner parties & events?  Sigh up on our newsletter here.