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The Original Moosewood

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One of the coolest things that happened to me while I was touring with the cookbook last summer, was going to Omnivore Books in San Francisco. The store itself was amazing and the event was packed which was great, but the best thing was finding a first edition copy of the Moosewood Cookbook on their shelves.

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If you’re a vegetarian, you have a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook. If you don’t, that just means you lost it. Moosewood is the training wheels to being a vegetarian home cook, the book that launched a thousand plates of brown rice and tofu. The New York Times claims it’s one of the ten best-selling cookbooks of all time. Just holding this spiral-bound, stained, faded, typewritten and hand-lettered cookbook felt like reaching back into the misty past of vegetarianism. But then, something crazy happened.

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The Moosewood Collective in all their world-changing glory.

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One of the people attending the event was Phyllis Boudreau, one of the original members of the Moosewood collective. Moosewood was a vegetarian restaurant operated under collective ownership in upstate New York. Earnest and committed to political change, this cookbook was going to be their big foray into the world. However one of their members, Mollie Katzen, took their name and style and recipes and started publishing her own Moosewood cookbooks without the collective. There was a falling out and the whole thing ended with Katzen getting rich and a lot of hurt feelings and bad blood.

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It was kind of awesome to get to experience some of this history first-hand because this was a major moment for vegetarian food in America, and it reminded me of how many stories in the food world there are outside the sphere of celebrity chefs and French cuisine, and how many of them haven’t been told yet. I wish more of them were getting written down before they’re forgotten.

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Coming to San Francisco! One day only! Only the strong survive!

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This coming Sunday, September 22 from 3pm – 4pm, I’m going to be at Omnivore Books in San Francisco doing the dirty Dirt Candy dance. I’ll be signing cookbooks, talking about the history of vegetarian food, dishing the dirt on running a restaurant, and serving free Portobello Mousse. This hour of food mayhem will go down at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez Street – at Church Street) and everyone is welcome. It’s free!

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This is my attempt to put an end to the dangerous East Coast/West Coast hip hop war that has consumed the world of vegetables for far too long. I’m tired of young rutabagas dying in the streets, baby mushrooms chopped down in the prime of their life, squashes squashed before they can make a positive contribution to society. So let’s come together and bring positivity to the community and build a world where baby vegetables can grow up to become delicious dishes as adult vegetables.

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This’ll be my first event for the cookbook on the West Coast, and I’m nervous about it. So if you know anyone who might want to come, or if you’re toying with the idea of attending, come on down or help me get the word out. A world free from vegetable violence begins with you!

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Happy Birthday, Dirt Candy Cookbook!

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Last week on August 21, the Dirt Candy Cookbook turned one year old! Drawn by the amazing and talented Ryan Dunlavey (Action Philosophers) it’s the first graphic novel cookbook, and it’s already in its third printing. Celebrate by ordering it from Amazon! Or order it from Barnes & Noble! Or order a signed copy from me!

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Dirt Candy Heading to the West Coast

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I’ve been wanting to get out to promote the cookbook on the West Coast for a while because I am totally not about this whole East Coast/West Coast battle whether it’s in cooking or in hip hop. I believe that both coasts should live in peace and harmony. And so, with the help of San Francisco’s amazing cookbook store, Omnivore Books, I’m going on a one-stop East Coast/West Coast Peace and Harmony Let’s Stop¬† Hating Each Other And Eat Vegetables Instead Tour.

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On Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 4pm at Omnivore Books in San Francisco I’ll be signing and selling cookbooks, writing whatever non-violent bi-coastal message you want in them, and on top of that I’ll be talking about cooking vegetables, eating vegetables, running a restaurant, graphic novels, why no one can find a line cook in Manhattan anymore, AND there will be free food for everyone. Probably Portobello Mousse, but you never know.

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The Omnivore Chicken. It will be at my event. Will you?

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So if you live in San Francisco or if you know people who live in San Francisco, help me get the word out and come on down. Because the last thing I want is to talk to an empty room with like one guy asleep in a chair in the back who’s just there for the air conditioning – because then I’ll know that even if I love the West Coast, the West Coast hates me.

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Panda Books are Here!

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I’ve been selling signed cookbooks from the Dirt Candy site for a few months now, but I’ve always been the only person who signed them…until now. Ryan Dunlavey is the award-winning cartoonist who drew the Dirt Candy cookbook, and we’ve managed to lure him out of his Brooklyn Beard Cave using a combination of Reese’s Pieces and bits of dry cheese. Then we captured him with nets and tranquilizer darts and forced him to sign 40 cookbooks before releasing him, unharmed, back into the wild.

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Now, for a limited time only, we’ve got 40 cookbooks for sale featuring my signature and Ryan’s Panda signature.

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It really looks like this!

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These are for sale for the same low, low price of $19. Act now! Buy a cookbook, get a panda!

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Relish, the book not the food

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It’s nice to know that the Dirt Candy Cookbook isn’t going to be the only comic book with recipes and food out there. Lucy Knisley is a cartoonist who’s been doing a bunch of the recipe comics over at Saveur online. I recently found out she has a graphic novel memoir with recipes coming out this week and I got my hands on a copy of it.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Mayhem in Medford Round-up

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About two weeks ago, I polished off my last out-of-town cookbook event of the year in Medford, MA. This was one I really wasn’t sure about, and it wound up being one of the most successful. My sister-in-law lives in Medford and she was the driving force in getting this together and she’s one of those organized people who start something rolling and then you just get out of the way or you get crushed. So when she told me that she wanted the Friends of the Medford Public Library to sponsor a Dirt Candy event I agreed because, well, I like libraries, I like my sister-in-law, and seeing my nephews isn’t half-bad. Little did I know…

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By the time this event was finished, cars would be destroyed, food would be donated and eaten in astounding quantities, massive numbers of cookbooks would be sold, and I would learn the meaning of Moxie.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Mobile Organism Designed Only for Cooking

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A couple of months ago, New York Comic Con descended on the West Side of Manhattan like the spearhead of an invasion of happy fans from another universe where life is more colorful and a whole lot more fun. One of my proudest moments came when I got a text from Ryan Dunlavey (the artist on the cookbook) showing me a commission someone had just paid him to draw. The drawing?

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Normally, commissions are things like Wonder Woman and Aquaman giving an erotic massage to a dolphin with a mink glove, but in this case it was me…fighting MODOK. Who is MODOK? Why, only the original Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing.

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The big-headed bully has become a comedy icon recently.

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In no small part thanks to our very own Ryan…

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And now I’m a comic book character. I can only hope that fetish commissions¬† of me in compromising positions with a mushroom are next!

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Dirt Candy + Flavor Bible @ Union Square Greenmarket

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Two of my favorite people are Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, authors of The Flavor Bible which is a book I was basically married to when I was thinking about opening Dirt Candy. They’ve become big boosters of the restaurant, and regular customers, and so I was over the moon when they invited me to join them at a book signing they’re doing at the Union Square Greenmarket this coming Saturday, December 15 starting at noon and ending at 2pm.

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They’ll be signing and selling copies of The Flavor Bible and their wine books, and I’ll be signing and selling copies of the Dirt Candy cookbook and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Because when’s the last time you could get a copy of the cookbook personally inscribed for the holidays and pick up a bunch of gorgeous vegetables to keep you company while you read it?

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Comix Art! The Dirt Candy Way!

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A couple of weeks ago I catered the Racked Awards out at Westway, and the inimitable Ryan Dunlavey (artist on Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, and friend to all children) did tray cards for the food. Here’s what he drew:

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Collect them all!

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In action!

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Yes, “shepherd” is spelled wrong. But it’s still a great piece of art!

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Spinach $13
spinach & grapefruit mille-feuille,
with smoked pistachios and ricotta

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll $10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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