Note: World Vegan Feast is scheduled for release on August 8, 2011, but it can be pre-ordered on Amazon before that date.
Excitement is building for Bryanna Clark Grogan’s long-awaited new cookbook. It’s been nine years since her last book, and her many fans have been clamoring for a new one. The internationally recognized expert in artistic and scientific meatless cookery is one of the pioneers of the new vegan cuisine that brought vegan cooking from austere to sumptuous in the 1990s. Her previous seven books covered no-fat recipes, quick cooking techniques, high-fiber cooking, and the cuisines of Italy and China. World Vegan Feast seemed like a natural next step.
“I’m not a trendy chef or a restaurant chef,” explained the author, a resident of British Columbia. “My focus is on delicious vegan cooking for the home kitchen. I develop recipes with ‘staying power’ that are detailed enough for beginners and experienced cooks alike. My mission is to provide vegan home cooks with the ideas they need to develop their own style of vegan cooking and interpret their traditional family dishes for the vegan table. In that regard, World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries is more than a cookbook; it is also a teaching tool and carefully designed resource for home cooks.”
Though her last book, The Fiber for Life Cookbook, came out in 2002, the author hasn’t been idle. She wanted to be more “one on one” with her fans, so for five years, she wrote and published her subscription e-newsletter, The Vegan Feast, for a legion of loyal subscribers who became her informal recipe testers and reviewers.
The newsletters were sixty to seventy pages long. They contained articles about techniques, cuisines, and ingredients, as well as a wide variety of original new recipes.
“I explored many cuisines and veganized the international recipes that caught my fancy,” she continued. “Some were from my own family background, including Italian, Spanish, and Peruvian recipes from my father’s side; Scottish, French, and English recipes from my mother’s family; and generally American recipes from my upbringing. After I ceased publishing the newsletter, I was left with a large body of work; more than enough international recipes to fill a book, and this is the result.”
The operative word with this expansive new title is “feast.” The book is well-researched, drawing from authentic international sources, personal experience, and Grogan’s thorough knowledge of kitchen science. The recipes are unique, and the publisher, Jon Robertson of Vegan Heritage Press, excitedly points out that readers aren’t likely to find most of these recipes anywhere else.
“Just look at the chapters,” Robertson said. “Universal comfort foods from all over the world. Everyday recipes and special occasion dishes. Brunches, pasta, and bean main dishes, two different dessert chapters, and an international bread sampler. It’s soup to nuts, but this is not a menu for tourists. These are the dishes the people of those countries actually enjoy in their homes.”
Browsing the recipe titles reveals perhaps the true value of the book: Consider recipes such as Moroccan Savory Celebration Pie, Greek-Style Lasagna, Sizzling Saigon Crepes, Peruvian Sweet Potato Chowder, Authentic Tamale Pie, Singapore Noodles, and Nepalese Green Beans with Coconut. The book includes interesting desserts, too: Triple-Ginger Cake with Espresso Frosting, Rose-Scented Baklava, Russian Chocolate Torte, and breads such as Potato Fougasse, Paneton, and the No-Knead Crusty Artisanal Bread.
Throughout the book are fascinating explanations of the “whys” of cooking, which the author hopes will make everyone who uses the book a better cook. She endeavored to take the mystery and guesswork out of cooking rich and satisfying plant-based meals.
Some of the ground covered include ingredient basics, such as vegetable broths and stocks, and all about the plant-based proteins including seitan, beans, and soy. The book explains how to make a variety of nondairy “cheeses” for use in cooking and how to make soufflé omelets without eggs. Grogan shares the secret of umami that allows anyone to elevate their cooking to new heights. The book also contains sample menus for a variety of occasions. There are recipes from South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Thailand, China, and over forty-seven other countries and regions of the world.
For many recipes, Grogan provides cooking options for the microwave and slow-cooker. Many of the recipes include soy-free and gluten-free options that are indicated with helpful icons. Instructive sections are included on bread baking, how various flours behave, and the secrets of no-knead, refrigerator-rising breads. If you want to make your own nut creams and custards, this book explains how.
In addition to these dynamic and delicious international recipes, World Vegan Feast contains more than 30 color photographs. Each chapter has a recipe list and the book features a resources section, an index of countries, and a general index.
The virtues of Grogan’s World Vegan Feast did not go unnoticed by the many well-known chefs and authors who previewed the pre-publication galleys. They include Neal Barnard, M.D., Chef Ken Bergeron, and authors Nava Atlas, Julie Hasson, Linda Long, and Fran Costigan, who wrote, “Bryanna’s highly anticipated eighth cookbook is inspiring, unique, beautifully written, and sure to become a classic.”
Grogan has this to say to those who may be new to vegan cuisine: “The beauty of vegan cooking is that you have a world of exciting, healthful flavors, textures, and combinations waiting to be discovered. You won’t live long enough to explore all of the possibilities—but you can have a great time trying!”
About the author
Bryanna Clark Grogan is the author of eight vegan cookbooks with over 22 years experience. Among her previous titles are Nonna’s Italian Kitchen, Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen, The Almost No Fat Cookbook, and The Fiber for Life Cookbook. She also developed the recipes for Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. A teacher, lecturer, and former newspaper columnist, you can see Bryanna’s blog at: http://VeganFeastKitchen.blogspot.com and her website at www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com.