Chopped Champion’s Epic Ten Course Meal

We were so lucky to be invited to Taji Marie‘s Pop-up Dinner at Wilde Wine Bar on La Brea Blvd. Taji is a Chopped Champion, and so many of us are completely obsessed with that show! Taji also runs her catering company The Simple Gourmet Kitchen and is a food stylist for outlets such as America’s Test Kitchen, Health Magazine and Access Hollywood Live.

I love the quote on top of Taji’s website: “one cannot THINK well, LOVE well, SLEEP well, if one has not DINED well” Virginia Woolf. I am guilty of frequently being HANGRY, so the idea of the importance of being well fed is not lost on me! We definitely let our meal well-fed and with our taste buds well stimulated.

The Pop-Up Dinner was hosted be Wilde Restaurant, truly a hidden gem in my neighborhood! Wilde has earned an unheard-of, near-perfect rating on Yelp, with regulars fawning over its down-to-earth approach, delicious, straightforward cooking and eclectic wine list.

Special thanks to Lorna for this amazing experience!

The exciting menu for the evening
Wilde Taji Marie Menu

Springtime Avgolemeno

The meal started off with a huge bowl of savory avgolemeno. I have never heard of an avgolemeno before, its a Greek Chicken Rice Soup. It was lush and soothing, very reminiscent of jook – the Chinese Porridge which I love to eat at dim sum! The fresh vegetables and herbs topping the dish definitely gave us a bright burst of springtime
Wilde Taji Marie Soup

Harissa-Caramel Roast Chicken

Wilde Taji Marie Chicken

Chickpea Flour Crepes

The crepes paired perfectly with the whipped tahini butter – I want to bring that delicious butter with me everywhere! I could’ve eaten even more of this plate but it was important to pace ourselves…

Wilde Taji Marie Flatbread

Swiss Chard Rolls stuffed with Lamb

The lamb rolls were definitely one of my favorite dishes of the night. They were incredibly juicy and the tangy yogurt cut the richness of the lamb. I was inspired to try cooking swiss chard rolls instead of cabbage rolls at home

Wilde Taji Marie Lamb Roll

Toasted Orzo

Another favorite was the orzo! I’ve never made orzo before and I am definitely adding it to my repertoire! I loved the different textures and flavors brought out by the zesty tomatoes that popped in your mouth, the crunchy asparagus and the umami filled pecorino cheese

Wilde Taji Marie Orzo
Turnips X 2 Wilde Taji Marie Turnip
Sesame Cream Puffs and Salted Black Brownies

The Sesame Cream Puffs were another favorite!

Wilde Taji Marie Dessert