Raveena Bhalara

Raveena will be presenting at Tender Table on May 19, 2019 at Squarespace in Portland, OR.

Photo courtesy of Raveena Bhalara

Photo courtesy of Raveena Bhalara


Raveena Bhalara is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and writer from Houston, Texas. These days she works mostly in puff paint, spray paint, pipe cleaners, sequins, play-doh, and googly eyes. Her most recent series of paintings are an ode to her favorite snack foods.


What will you be presenting on? I'm a creative nonfiction writer so I will be presenting a selection of short stories about my experiences with food growing up. I am Indian American but I grew up in South Houston in a hotbed of fast food. My family (for convenience, price, and vegetarian options) has a history going to Taco Bell and Dominos often since we didn't have a lot of money. Some nights would even be Totino's $1 frozen pizzas but the next would be an elaborate North Indian three-course meal. I feel both of these cuisine's represent who I am today -- and my obsession with ah "high-low" mentality in what I consume and in the art I make.

Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: "Don't measure your spices ever, you should be able to judge by color and smell" -Mom

If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Nachos

Recommended reading: I just started reading Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays by Durga Chew-Bose and I'm obsessed.

Best meals: In Beaverton there is a tiny Indian restaurant at the back of a grocery store called Indian Connection -- and I SWEAR it's the best Indian food near Portland. I also sort of love Bollywood Theater though also as a guilty pleasure.

Food you’d like to try: I wish so badly that I could have sushi but I've always been vegetarian!!! I've always said that if I ever live abroad though I'd like to try all the foods so maybe if I move somewhere coastal I would start by eating fish.