Garnish Kitchen: Dallas' Newest Cooking Studio

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Welcome to Garnish Kitchen. I was very fortunate to help brand this new cooking studio + market located in Oak Cliff. A few weeks ago, my daughter and I finally got to experience this new cooking studio located in Oak Cliff, Dallas. I enrolled her in the Kid’s Class they had on Saturday, and she loved every bite of it. What is Garnish Kitchen? It is a meeting place for everyone inspired by food, cooking, and community. They offer specifically designed hands-on cooking classes, private events, and guest-chef experiences. They also have a market side, where you will find homemade foods and snacks so you can grab a bite with us or take it on the go. Plus, they also make a mean mimosa. Here are my top 5 reasons to book a class and enjoy a great experience. 

  1. Meet Chef Aaron + his wife Tiffany. Dallas' most lovable couple. The minute you walk through the doors, they make sure you feel comfortable, even if it is your first time, you feel like part of their family. Their main goal is to make sure you have a great experience and even if you aren’t a great cook, like me, Chef Aaron will walk you through the steps until you are able to understand and follow along.
  2. The atmosphere. It’s modern, yet feels like home. Their decor is so unique and different. I love the hand-style menus that hang on the wall, to the fun pig painting in the kitchen, to the fire oven. The whole ambiance is so well thought out, just a beautiful and eclectic space. The long dinner style table is so inviting that even after you are finished cooking you sit family style next to a stranger, but end up feeling like you know everyone for years. I just love something about being able to walk in a place, be yourself, and meet people without that awkwardness – Garnish Kitchen does that. 
  3. Chef Aaron. He has so much patience and the perfect balance of teaching and fun time. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a vast amount of experience. His goal is to teach the “why” of cooking as much as the “how” and so empower cooks of any level to move beyond the recipe in a warm and welcoming environment.
  4. The Market Side. How delicious is this side of the place? You are able to walk-up for lunch and dinner and enjoy their unique menu items that is made fresh on the spot. Alongside with the market, they also sell their own home-made infused oils, compound butter, professional culinary tools, etc.
  5. A Place to Gather. It’s such a cool spot to host events, date night, group lessons, get together with friends, or just for fun! Just the overall experience is worth the visit. 

But don’t just take my word for it. Book a Garnish Kitchen class today and experience it for yourself. 

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Check out more of our experience in the gallery below. 

Movie Review: Marvel’s Black Panther – The Highest-Rated Superhero Movie

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First, let me start out with the stats for the ones who have been living under a rock. Marvel’s Black Panther made a record of $218 million at the weekend box office - the largest President's Day weekend opening, surpassing 2016 Deadpool of $152 million. It’s received an A+ CinemaScore, the only Marvel film to have done so besides 2012’s The Avengers. Comscore’s PostTrak survey of the audience showed outstanding numbers with 77% rating Black Panther as “excellent” and another 18% as “very good.” The director Ryan Coogler (only 31 years old) is destined for great success. He only had $900K budget for Fruitvale Station, and it made $16 million. He then had $40 million for the movie Creed, and it made $173 million. Marvel gave him a budget of $200 million for Black Panther, and he already gained that back and then some. Kudos to you, Ryan Coogler. 

Now back to my opinion on this film – Marvel has created a masterpiece with Black Panther. I plan to keep this review spoiler-free and leave out details because I want you to go in with fresh eyes and experience this the same way I did when I saw the film 2x this past weekend. 

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With a star-studded cast—including Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and Marvel’s first black superhero star since Blade, and Michael B. Jordan as the villain Erik Killmonger. The movie was so good that, even though I fully support the superhereos, I did sympathize with Killmonger. Jordan gives a top villain performance, giving Magneto and Loki a run for their money. Black Panther is so well-written and executed (not to mention the brilliant soundtrack headed by Kendrick Lamar) that my daughter kept jamming during the movie, it will surely keep breaking records and top all previous Marvel movies. 

Wakanda’s most powerful warriors are women. We quickly realize how T’Challa would be nothing without his loyal warriors and Queen Mother. My favorites were the general Okoye (Danai Gurira) taking on enemies single-handedly and if you want to know who the scene stealer is in Black Panther, that award goes to Shuri (Letitia Wright). She steals damn near every scene in the film, and I’m 110% confident that audiences will walk away talking about Shuri long after the film ends. I also would like to add that the focus on her being the smartest person in the universe is so strong, and many characters in the Marvel universe—including Tony Stark himself—have a lot to learn from Shuri’s technology and skills.

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Most important for the Marvel universe, it introduces Wakanda, a fictional, technologically advanced African nation that is hidden in plain sight. Wakanda is an abundant source of Vibranium, the alien metal used to make my beloved Captain America’s shield and the Winter Soldier’s arm, the resource sought by Avengers villain Ultron and used to help synthesize Vision into being. This all shows that Wakanda has major significance in the world Marvel and Disney are creating.

It's revolutionary on so many levels. From the cultural relevance, Afrofuturism, family/tradition, and so much more. Black Panther represents an encouraging trend in cinema. With a majority black cast, it portrays black people and culture from a place of power and self-reliance. It shows what black writers, actors, and characters can do when given the opportunity to take center stage. Boom, take that haters!

The final word: I left feeling empowered and excited for what’s to come for T’Challa and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just as Wonder Woman meant so much to women empowerment and women's strength, Black Panther is filled with so much culture and everything I’ve ever desired in a live-action version of this popular superhero and yet so much more. Quite frankly, the experience is indescribable. I left the theater wanting to see this movie at least 10 more times. I already know that Black Panther‘s weight in gold at the box office will be in repeat viewings because we just won’t want this cinematic experience to end. I give it a 5 out 5 stars. If you have seen it, let me know what you thought. Wakanda forever! -xo Mel 

 

Black Panther Everyday Cosplay

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Marvel's Black Panther is finally here! Wearing the color black is one of the easiest wardrobe combinations to pair with. It enables you to wear different textures and silhouettes without the worry of really ‘matching’. I always like to add a statement necklace to pull the whole look together + really make it pop. I found this Black Panther cosplay spike collar necklace that is definitely the ultimate statement piece. I love the clean, silver metal look that resembles T'Challa, king, and protector of the fictional African nation called Wakanda. Wakanda Forever! 

If you see this movie, definitely let me know your thoughts. I will be posting my review soon. 

Photo Credit: Jeff Zepeda

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