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FARM RICH Cooking with TASTY Event at The Gourmandise School Santa Monica

TASTY invited WestsideMommy.com to a cooking class at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica. I sent my two top foodie friends, Kristy and Toby, to cover it (and enjoy the evening). Read their experiences below. 

Toby Lowenfels

People with more than one mouth to feed are required to cook at a superhuman pace, making the hyper-fast Tasty videos especially useful. As a mother of two toddlers, I’ll take all the kitchen hacks I can get my hands on to put dinner on the table (almost) every night.

So of course I jumped at the opportunity to attend a Cooking with Tasty demonstration presented by Farm Rich last Thursday evening at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica. I was excited to learn cooking tips, meet new people and be relieved from cleanup/bedtime duty for the night.

Guests were treated to cocktails served by mixologist Matthew Biancaniello, including ingredients I can’t pronounce, like calamansi, and guided through cooking demonstrations featuring ingredients I can pronounce all too well, like salt, garlic and butter.

We broke into teams to learn the first recipe, Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Sandwiches, which only took about 2 minutes to assemble among five sets of hands. Go, teamwork! I stepped aside to check in with my husband and remind him to DVR the Will and Grace revival and, by the time I came back, the snacks were coming out of the oven—gooey and prime for the mayo dip.

The second recipe was for Meatball Cups, another decadent, bite-sized take on a traditional comfort food, which took about 5 min to prep and 20 min to cook. Both recipes are perfect for miniature hands and there’s no doubt that my kids would enjoy making and eating them. I’ll definitely consider adding these recipes to my rotation—especially supplemented by side salads and veggies—and look forward to following the channel for more tips and tricks.

Toby Lowenfels lives in Culver City with her husband and two toddler boys. When she’s not scouting out new snacks and drinks in LA, she’s perfecting 20-minute dinner recipes, which you can subscribe to at dinnerin20.com.

Kristy Nall

I’m completely obsessed with those short cooking videos from Tasty, where everything comes together in under three minutes and I’m like, “I can totally do that!”. So when I was invited to a cooking demonstration in the Tasty Kitchens I said “OH.YEAH.”

Presented by Farm Rich, I first walked into a reception featuring Farm Rich frozen appetizers: breaded avocado slices, loaded potato skins, pimento cheese bites, chicken roll ups and veggie skewers. I was too busy stuffing my face to remember to take pictures. Then I noticed the bar. With his signature fedora and tableful of farmer’s market produce I was excited to see legendary mixologist Matthew Biancaniello of “Eat Your Drink”, creating cocktails. His produce and jars of homemade infusions made the whole area smell like a sweet garden. There were drinks with blueberries and calamansi oranges (foraged from a friends’ yard) and guava and sea foam made from St. Lucia seaweed. I could barely tear myself away when they called us into the kitchen.

We were presented with aprons (for keeps!) and put into groups of five around prep tables in the kitchen at The Gourmandise Cooking School. There were recipe cards and all the ingredients we needed to make easy meals with Farm Rich products. Our first recipe was for “Ham & Cheese Pullaparts”, featuring their Mozzarella Bites. Our group, “Team Queso”, first made a honey-mayo dipping sauce. We then put together slices of ham and cheese between 2 round breaded mozzarella bites before placing them in the oven to get all hot and melty. There was everything to love about these sandwiches: they were so easy to put together, took less than 10 minutes, were filling and really delicious. There were high-fives all around. Once we determined that ours were the cheesiest and meltiest in the class, we congratulated ourselves with glasses of wine as we ate them.

The recipe for “Meatball Cups” was more involved but I would still rate it “easy”. Team Queso started with the garlic butter – melted butter, garlic and salt. We divided pre made pizza dough into the cups of a muffin tin, brushed it with the garlic butter, added a spoon of pre made marinara sauce and dropped in a Farm Rich meatball. Those baked for about 20 minutes and we added more sauce and parmesan cheese on top, like the bosses we were. They were like mini meatball subs and went very well with the red wine we were toasting with. Hearty enough for a meal with a side salad, fun enough for kids and adults alike – and still very easy to make.

We ate, finished the wine and chatted with Matthew who came into the kitchen offering more drinks (a roasted garlic cocktail you say? How perfect with meatballs!). The kids at Tasty gave us goodie bags filled with coupons for free Farm Rich treats and a credit for Uber, which I used immediately. I’m pretty sure my husband is gonna love those Meatball Cups and so will the guests at my next cocktail party!

Kristy Nall has worked for over 19 years in the entertainment food industry – in craft services, catering, special events, and more. Close friends have experienced her epic pop-up dinners and holiday themed feasts. Together with her cocktail-crafting husband Scott, Kristy loves exploring restaurants and bars and food events, meeting chefs and bartenders in L.A. and around the world. Follow her cooking, dining, and drinking adventures on Instagram @travelgnome



Farm Rich

The Gourmandise School

Matthew Biancaniello


@travelgnome on instagram