First blissful gatherings pop up dinner happened!
Spoiler… It was a success.
Since I was very little I had passion and love for being in the kitchen. I would watch so many cooking shows and think “wow, I wonder how the food they’re making tastes?”. I always was under the impression that all the food I would see on the cooking shows tasted incredible and unlike any other dish you would make yourself. I guess it was the way everything was plated and captured. Everything looked so spectacular and the reactions of the chefs on television had me believing that the food tasted like a five star meal.
When I became vegan, I got more and more creative in the kitchen. Every aspect of cooking (minus the clean up) had me gushing with happiness. Naturally, vegan food is effortlessly stunning. The reason being is well because, the star of the show is PLANTS, the most colorful foods in the planet. Fruits and vegetables are full of vibrancy, making each dish appealing to the human eye.
One of the sweetest comments I get in both real life and the internet world is: “Can you please cook for me?”. It warms my heart. I spend hours in the kitchen doing what a love and then more time on my porch capturing the food creations for the Internet world. Its my craft, my passion and my happiness. I create recipes that make my taste buds sing and heart happy, I wish I could share with everyone who wants a taste!
Lila, my friend, plant based vegan foodie, influencer and sweetest soul moved to San Diego a few weeks ago. One day she looked at me and said “Lex, lets do a pop up dinner here in San Diego, this could be a thing.” Within only a couple of weeks we found ourselves discussing the details and set the date to be way sooner then I had mentally planned for.
I took care of the recipe testing and menu planning while Lila took care of the graphics and promoting of the event. We made a good team. While our drive and passions pushed us to execute our vision, we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without the support and tremendous help from Chancy and his amazing mother!
What is a pop up dinner?
A pop up dinner is when you open up your home to share a home cooked meal with others, whether you’re all friends, family or strangers. It’s meant to be a gathering full of conversation, great food and amazing company. We created a 5 course plant based vegan meal curated from local, seasonal produce from the San Diego farmers markets.
Not only was the food an important piece of the night but so were the drinks being served. We are so grateful for our two beverage sponsors Solti and Boochcraft. Solti is a organic cold pressed juice company and boochcraft is a alcoholic kombucha company. Both companies are based out of San Diego and both change their drink flavors as the seasons change, meaning they only use seasonal produce. Community is so important to me. Finding two amazing companies based out San Diego to be apart of our night was so special to us and we are so grateful.
[Boochcraft flavors: Watermelon,mint, chili & ginger, lemon, rosehips. Solti flavors: watermelon mint & gingermade]Lets talk about the 5 course menu!
Fresh summer corn
Chipotle cashew mayo, almond parmesan and cilantro.
Corn is THE summer food. We grilled it to perfection on an outside grill (as in we I mean my lovely boyfriend chancy), whipped up my homemade chipotle cashew mayo, and blended up some almond / cashew parmesan “cheese”, finished off with a sprinkle of fresh organic cilantro from the farmers market. Bowls of extra vegan Parmesan was made because well… its addictive!
fresh mango and backyard grown basil.
Gazpacho was a whole new concept to me while Lila and I discussed the menu. It is a cold soup commonly served during the summer! We knew most would be new to this as well. With that in mind, we knew it would be a huge hit if we curated this dish using local organic tomatoes from the farmers market and the sweetest most delicious mangoes from the asian market. Using the best, freshest and flavorful ingredients in each dish was so important to us.
Avocado Pesto Heirloom homemade flatbread
Market tomatoes, arugula, balsamic glaze and roasted pine nuts.
Oh boy, lets talk about the home made flat bread. Chancy’s amazing mother makes THE best flat bread. She has veganized her original recipe that she had been making for years and hasn’t looked back! The bread is fluffy, soft and deserved to be on the menu. A generous layer of avocado pesto was slathered on, followed by oven roasted farmers market heirloom tomatoes, arugula, roasted pine nuts and a balsamic glaze