So back in mid-December I was invited to participate in a styling roundtable event for Lean Cuisine in Manhattan. Each of us three style bloggers (Jenny from Little Green Notebook, Jessie from Style and Pepper, and myself) were placed into teams with a chef, a farmer, and a rep from Lean Cuisine. Our assignment was for each group to put together two dishes inspired by a specific vegetable, and then a beautiful tablescape to compliment the dish (that last part was my job! Eeek!).
I had a specific budget and a specific amount of time to style the table, so it was a little bit nerve-racking in a city that I only kind of knew! Plus I had to style it in front of about 60 people + cameras. Yikes! It ended up being such a cool experience and we had the most amazing feast afterwards with all the incredible dishes the star chefs made.
Here’s a 30 second teaser video Lean Cuisine made about the event (if you want to watch a longer version there’s another one here):
And keep reading for more details about the table I styled and some other behind the scenes photos about the process…
This post is brought to you by Lean Cuisine . I was invited to the Lean Cuisine Culinary Round Table and was provided with a stipend for the visit and experience. All thoughts and opinions surrounding the experience are authentically my own.
The event was held at Haven’s Kitchen, a super cool space in Chelsea that’s the perfect central location for all the errands I had to run to put the table together in only few hours. Plus I was wearing my rubber leggings, so ya know…it was ON.
Here’s us chatting with the chef/farmers when we were just getting started. I was a little star struck- there were some super star chefs I recognized from Top Chef (Michelle Bernstein) and the Josh of the Beekman boys (Beekman 1802):
My group was assigned carrot and artichoke and after making some general plans about the table scape (I went with the rustic theme and planned on making the vegetables the star of the centerpiece), we headed out for some shopping with a couple assistants and a car- so pretty much I was in heaven! That is the way to go when running errands in Manhattan!
There were so many stores right in that neighborhood like West Elm, Fishys Eddys, ABC Carpet, etc. Here are a few things I picked up:
The little wood stumps I picked up from the Christmas tree lot (free too!) I thought they’d make perfect candle holders for my centerpiece, and also coasters., plus they smelled amazing. Even though I had a pretty generous budget, I couldn’t help getting something for a steal!
Then it was time to set up! I used sand to fill the wooden trays and then ‘planted’ the artichokes and carrot tops. It was kind of an abstract idea that could have totally been horrible, but it ended up turning out pretty I thought. I also picked up some air succulents and white candles to complement the veggies displayed.
It was a little scary with camera on you the whole time and a room full of people just watching you work! I also kind of embarrassed myself by having to ask advice from Jessie on how to set a proper fancy-time table (with all those extra utensils) since that is not something I normally do- turns out it was super simple. Duh.
Here are a couple pictures of the final table:
I think my favorite part were the little carrot place holders. The cards fit perfectly woven through the little green stems:
But really the best part was putting all three tables together and having an incredible feast! It took us a while to get all the takes we needed for the shoot and by that time we were STARVING, so it tasted even better!
Such an incredible event and so inspiring to be a part of it!