Last fall, I took a moment to share with you a little bit about my experience getting to know the folks at Lean Cuisine during a trip to Central California several months ago, and this past December, they made the trek out to this side of the country for a bit more scheming + dreaming, and a day full of major fun here in NYC.
I was honored to be a Style Expert at another one of their Culinary Roundtable events along with fellow bloggers Jenny Komenda & Liz Stanley, and we had a great time creating, styling + eating with the brilliant chefs and the team behind the brand.
Keep scrolling to watch a quick video sharing a sneak peek of our time (below), and a fun look at a few of the design details of the event…
After kicking off the morning with a brief chat about “our mission”, we met with our teams and started mapping out our game-plan for the rest of the day. Each group was tasked with creating a menu of multiple dishes using several of the fresh produce ingredients featured in the Lean Cuisine varieties, and styling up a tabletop scheme inspired by the meal.
Each of the Style Experts were given a budget and a car to scoot around the city, and my favorite part of the day was definitely sourcing the different pieces for our look from various thrift shops, flower markets and home design stores.
When we sat down around the tables to enjoy the family-style dinner (my favorite!), we had the unique chance to share with the rest of the group about our experience and how we came to our design decisions based on an overall cohesive theme and direction.
Our team’s table // The Morroccan flavors and preparations of our particular dishes lent themselves to a fairly easy inspiration for my design, and I used a very layered look with a rich color palette for extra depth. A few of my favorite extra details were: shiny gold flatware, a burgundy table runner made from scraps of leather from the garment district, vintage jewelry draped over the glossy black tagine, and individual rhinestone earrings that secured real corn husks around the natural linen napkins at each place setting. Pine boughs and seasonal blooms were contained in a grouping of chalkboard counter-top canisters from Canvas Home, and real birch candleholders from the flower district looked just right amidst the thrifted brass extras and floral chiffon tablecloth.
As I’ve said before, reaching for pre-packaged frozen meals is not always my first choice, but I’m a HUGE fan of keeping Lean Cuisines on-hand for when I need a delicious and tasty meal in minutes, and want to know that it will fill me up and fuel me with what my body needs for my busy schedule and active lifestyle. I know that not everyone has access to or time for sourcing, preparing & creating wholesome meals from scratch, and that’s when I think it’s more than acceptable (and in many cases, totally necessary) to call in the back-ups for an acceptable stand-in.
Not only do I keep a nice big stack of them in my freezer, but I just love an organization that embraces their story, and Lean Cuisine’s line of creative and healthy frozen meals is truly a great example of a company who holds freshness, flavor & innovation at the forefront of everything that they do. (Be sure to read about my last Culinary Roundtable experience for a more complete run-down.)
I’m really looking forward to sharing more of my Culinary Chic experiences with you here throughout this year, and I’d love to have you follow along as I explore and sample some of the many new and exciting products that the iconic brand has to offer!
This post is kindly 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.