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Talin’s Table 1 year Anniversary

Wow- I can’t believe its been a year since I started my endeavor with Talin’s Table. As the year went by, I discovered so much about people, food, and myself. I discovered how much I love watching people eating and laughing with people they just met. I also discovered how much I love the private chef world. I love the freedom and creativity is possesses. I love that I can be so personal with those dining. It’s all part of the experience.

So after a year, I had the honor of having a really amazing friend and chef join me. She partnered with me by encouraging me so much and always being so open and honest with me. Chef Julia is the owner and chef of Sweet Arleen’s in Westlake (if you haven’t been…you MUST go). Having met her through my Italian pastry mentor and friend, Massimiliano Carrara, she quickly opened up her skills to me as well and took me under her wing. She partnered with me for this Talin’s Table by helping me with preparations. Better yet, she prepared an amazing chocolate dessert for the 1 year Talin’s Table anniversary! I was so blessed. Everyone loved it.

So for the evening of festivities, I decided to go family style. I chose this style of service because in my culture we always have our food family style. It creates a moment to talk, laugh, and enjoy our food with our friends or family.

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For the appetizers, I made an Armenian “empanada” called Boreg. It’s filled with Nani’s special cheese mix. It’s so delicious. Along with the bored, I made goat cheese and fig crostini topped with balsamic glaze.

Then the salad and entrees came out. YUM. I made a delicious fattoush salad. I created my own seasoning mix (which you can buy for the holidays!!) and wowzers, this was so delicious. I had some fellow Armenians at my table, including my best friend, Alik who took these amazing photos and has created the videos on my page here. They all loved the salad and kept talking about how different it was and not your usual fattoush salad. Just what I was hoping to hear.

Along with the salad I brought out dolma.  Nani has taught me so many dishes, but dolma is one our staples at home. We have it at least once every two weeks. Dolma is squash or eggplant that is stuffed with a beef and rice mixture. I topped it with a garlic yogurt sauce and of course you can’t forget the flowers.

We had such a fun time. This was the perfect group and the perfect atmosphere to finish off the year of Talin’s Table. I reached my goal and I am so happy I got to do this.

The dinners aren’t over. Enjoy an experience with food, community, and of course a nice view! If you’d like to reserve a spot, click HERE. Anush!

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Salmon Tartare

Salmon tartar… a dish some people either love or don’t even want to try. It’s just like sushi, and if you don’t like sushi, you’re totally missing out. Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat raw. If you get really good quality, it should just melt in your mouth.

I know that a very typical tartar is tuna, but because I love salmon so much, I decided to go with it. I made little cannoli out of Lavash Bread to bring my own culture into it and I finished it off with a dollop of Lebni (kefir cheese- learn to make it HERE). This is a very elegant but easy dish to make  and it serves well for bigger parties too.

You will want to make sure to get sashimi/sushi grade skinless salmon filet and the best part is from the thickest part. Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients
. 8-ounce boneless salmon fillet, skinless chopped into 1/9 of inch cubes
. 1 shallot, finely chopped
. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
. 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
. Juice of 1/2 an orange
. 1 tbsp EVOO
. salt to taste

Procedure
1. 5 hours before serving, add all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2. Place a piece of of plastic wrap directly over the mixture, to keep moisture from getting to it and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Either serve with pita chips or a baguette that has been sliced and toasted.

Anush!

Talina’s Pesto

There are so many delicious recipes for pesto… so of course I have one of my own too!

It’s not too different from the traditional pesto recipe, but its just so delicious.
Pesto is great to put on toast with some tomatoes and extra olive oil, pasta, a grilled cheese and pancetta sandwich, ….oh the possibilities. Try me recipe out and let me know what you think

Photo by: Hayley Boomhower and Sean Rea

Appliances
. food processor

Ingredients
. 1 bunch of fresh basil
. 1/4 cup almonds
. 1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
. 3 garlic cloves
. 1/2 cup EVOO
. juice of 1 lemon
. salt and pepper to taste

Procedure
1. Pull the basil leaves off the stems of the basil. Add it to a food processor.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until it becomes super fine and spreadable.
3. Enjoy on some fresh made pasta or a piece of toast.

Simple Pasta with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

This is one of the easiest and flavorful pastas. It’s so simple that I have to hold myself back from making it every night. If you like garlic, you’ll love this. Don’t forget the wine!

Ingredients

.16 oz. bag dried spaghetti (or whatever type of pasta you like)
.4 tablespoons EVOO
.5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
.1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
.1/4 cup of white wine
.4 oz. goat cheese log (sliced into 4 slices of 1/4 inch thick)
.4 slices of pancetta, cooked to crispiness

Procedure

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the dry pasta and boil for 11 minutes.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, in a sauce pan add 2 tablespoons of EVOO on medium heat.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic creates an aroma.
  5. Add the white wine and let it cook and thicken like a sauce.
  6. Add the parsley.
  7. By this time, the pasta should be all done. Add the pasta into the saucepan and mix.
  8. Plate the pasta and on top add a slice of pancetta and a slice of goat cheese.

Photo by: Hayley Boomhower and Sean Rea

And there you have it, a simple, easy, fast, and not to mention delicious pasta dinner. Anush!

Nataline

While growing up, I was part of a lot of Armenian cultural activities. A couple of these activities were done by some of the same people, so I had a duplicated group of friends in two different activities. One of these friends became one of my good friends. Her name was Nataline. A little shy of my own age, she and I had a lot of similarities. We were both very creative and enjoyed laughing a lot. She was the only friend my parents would let me stay the night at her house.

At a very young age, Nataline was diagnosed with leukemia. I remember the day I found out, and I couldn’t believe it. She was the sweetest and most peaceful person I knew! Even when I had problems with other people, she would always encourage me to not assume the worse in people and to always assume the best. I remember one time, we were walking to the car to go home, and I told her, “I don’t think anyone likes me here..” and she just casually said, “you don’t know that… and even if you’re feeling is right, don’t pay attention to it.” She was 8 years old, spewing out older wisdoms.

All this to say, Nataline passed away, fighting hard, and because of the injustice of the health care system. You can read more of her fight HERE. Her parents, filled with zeal and anger against the injustice, decided to form an organization that would,  “save innocent lives, and to make changes to our healthcare system in the United States” (natalinesarkisyan.com). They were inspired by Nataline’s fashion sketchbook. She had a dream to one day become a fashion designer. They started remembering her by holding an annual fashion show called Nataline’s Fashion Legacy every July (her birthday month).

Her mom, Hilda Sarkisyan, found out that I had become a chef and at once contacted me with quick details asking if I’d be interested to have a table filled with appetizers. I didn’t even think about it and just jumped on the boat.

(stay tuned for recipes in future posts)

I made tabouleh, peaches with prosciutto, a delicious tomato and olive bruschetta, asparagus with puff pastry and parmigiano reggiano, bite size sartu di riso, red wine caramelized onions and strawberry tarts… the table was filled and GONE in a matter of 15 minutes (might I add)!

On July 8, we celebrated Nataline, with Talin’s Table appetizers, and a remarkable fashion show. We love you and miss you Nataline. We will always remember you. ❤