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.