Tal Ronnen, who was born in Israel and grew up in New York, is "one of the most celebrated vegan chefs working today". Hey, his own website says that, so who am I to disagree?
What would a celebrated chef be these days without his own cookbook, and Chef Tal has a new one, The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
A former steak lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him hungry and filled with cravings for butter and meat. By applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he found that he could gratify his cravings for rich flavor and fat.
The Conscious Cook shows readers that avoiding the health risks and ethical dilemmas of eating meat and dairy does not mean sacrificing taste and appetite. This is not a cookbook of sprouts and tofu burgers, but of mouth-watering, hearty meals that keep the protein at the center of your plate. Featuring 75 original recipes that will satisfy the fussiest foodies and the most dedicated of carnivores, The Conscious Cook is a breakthrough in meatless cuisine that will revolutionize the way readers experience food.
About the Author
Chef Tal Ronnen is the most celebrated vegan chef working today. In the spring of 2008, he became known nationwide as the chef who prepared vegan meals for Oprah Winfrey's 21-day vegan cleanse. He has since catapulted to fame, catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's vegan wedding, Arianna Huffington's party at the Democratic National Convention, and the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate.
William Morrow hardcover
List price: $29.99
UPDATE: January 22, 2010
Pat Tannen on CentralJersey.com has a review of this book that, while overwhelmingly positive, mentions a few flaws that people ought to know about as well.
So, you may ask, if the recipes in The Conscious Cook deliver excellent results, what are my reservations? For one, the book’s index is virtually useless. And instructions, while for the most part painstaking, can at times be sloppy. The tempeh recipe, for example, instructs the cook to reserve the broth (which is superb) after removing the tempeh. Yet it never says what to do with it. Another recipe is for Asian Tacos with Kinpira. Kinpira is never defined. (According to Wikipedia, it’s sauteed root vegetables). Another quibble: It becomes evident halfway through the book that Mr. Ronnen is hawking a meat- substitute called Gardein, which turns out to have been developed by a friend. This may, in fact, be an excellent product — I don’t know — but because he leaves it unclear as to whether he is benefiting financially from it, his advocacy made me uncomfortable.