Born in New York, Chanoa Tarle grew up in Miami, and spent nearly seven years living in the Balkans (first Belgrade then Montenegro), before landing in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising in Miami, graduating during the recession.
"There weren't many fashion industry opportunities at the time, and certainly not many in South Florida," says Chanoa. "I eventually merged my two loves--writing and fashion, providing copywriting services and also writing for publications.
Do you believe that being a writer helps you enjoy or appreciate food more?
I’m a copywriter, but I’m often told I describe food, drink, products and experiences outside of work as if I work for the companies. I have a deep passion and appreciation for the pleasures of life and I get excited about good food.
Do you ever travel for food?
I don’t travel for food but it’s a top priority on vacation. I love to research restaurants in advance and discover others while I’m there. I also behave differently on vacation. For example, you can find me drinking up to 5 espressos a day whenever I’m in Italy. That’s simply not a physical (or mental) possibility for me at home!
Do you focus on healthy food?
I love healthy food that feels like an indulgence, such as making a smoothie with all of the extras like cacao nibs, açaí and hemp seeds. I like to blend cacao nibs and sprinkle some on top.
Any favorite kitchen products?
I love my tart pan. I bought it to make a birthday dark chocolate brownie tart during lockdown. It instantly dresses up any dessert or savory dish with an elevated presentation.
Any favorite restaurants or food travel destinations?
Italy is always important for food. I used to live in Montenegro and I absolutely love many traditional Montenegrin dishes. They are not for the calorie-counting set. They’re rich and often filled with meat or cheese.
I love the breakfast foods, too, though I also ate them occasionally, including priganice, which are kind of like a type of savory fried dumpling and prženica, Montenegrin French toast (see how to make this in the video below by Milin Kuvar on YouTube).
Food in Montenegro tends to be lighter in the summer, with plenty of fresh seafood options available on the Adriatic seaside.
My favorite restaurant here in LA is République, a café and bakery by day, upscale dining by night.
I love Pho Cafe in Silverlake, too, for a quick, casual and delicious meal. I miss them both right now.
In Miami Beach, my home before Montenegro, my favorites are the steakhouses Meat Market and Prime 112, though Miami is filled with great restaurants.
Where do you turn for great food or food inspiration?
I like checking out goop.com for new recipes and I follow a few food influencers on Instagram like Athena Calderone.
What do you eat when on deadline?
When I’m strapped for time, I order my favorite breakfast burrito from Bolt EaHo. It’s crazy good with eggs, bacon, the best salsa and cheese. I have it every weekend and at least one busy day during the week, with their hemp milk latte. It energizes me, and it’s so rich that I usually only eat half, saving the rest for another meal.
Anything else you would like to add about being a writer who loves food?
I’m definitely someone who prefers to dine out, so I appreciate how lockdown has inspired me to experiment with new dishes and return to making my favorite meals.