Thursday, January 22, 2009

New slew of posts up at

I've been adding posts every few days to my column, and have been pleasantly surprised to find that it's easy to come up with interesting angles on veganism for a local Boston audience. I've also had a warm reception from Shannon Cain Arnold, the vegetarian examiner (the liberal Jew to my orthodox, if we're working with my Kosher metaphor from post #1), and from Boston's Food Examiner at large, Jacqueline Church, although of course we knew eachother previously from the Bostonist piece I did on her inspiring Teach a Man to Fish project.

I've also received some fun comments from friends of all kinds on my posts, from the cynical Lissa to the bubbly Alicia. (Note: "B Dub", who asks for recipes in the first post, is actually my steak-loving cowboy dad, using a family alias. Thanks, Dad!)

Anyhow, here's a quick roundup of the new stories on Examiner:

Jan 10: Learn to cook vegan desserts with Conscious Kitchen's Emilie Hardman

Emilie's one of my go-to sources for vegan info and overall inspiration - her blog, Conscious Kitchen, is full of beautiful photos and thoughtful commentary. This class is the first in a series that I hope will be very successful for Emilie.

Jan 11: Vegan school lunch options garner support on

The voting is closed now on, the Reddit-style site run by Obama's transition team, but when it debuted, it seemed to me to be a beautifully modern way of expressing the democratic ideal: anyone could submit ideas for the president's consideration, and readers could vote ideas up or down.

The idea of reforming the school lunch program so that it will offer vegetable-based cuisine to feed our nation's growing bodies (and fight diabetes and obesity later on) did surprisingly well, although I'd imagine this was due to the self-selected community of liberal, early-adopter, tech-minded voters, which does not represent the country as a whole.

Jan 17: Two vegan dinners on Sunday, Jan 18: BVS dinner at Grasshopper, vegan tasting at Tremont 647

The BVS dinner was cancelled, but I'm hoping to make the rescheduled dinner on Feb. 15, which includes a lecture on kitchen gardening. I'm hoping to get into this in 2009.

I'm equally excited about vegan food at Tremont 647, as I've been veg-ifying the recipes in chef Andy Husbands' "Fearless Chef" for a while, but I'm sure the pros can do a better job. According to 647's events coordinator, Joy Robinson, who is a LUPEC lady and a vegan herself, it's the first of many.

"We have only done 1 vegan dinner (this past Sunday) but plan to make it a regular thing in March. Not sure if we're going to do every Sunday or once per month yet, but when we kick it off, I will have some vegan wines and organic cocktails on the list," she told me via email this week. "The reason we're waiting until March is because we're doing Pork Month for the month of February, with a 3 course Pork menu every night of the week, for $35 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. We thought offering a vegan menu at the same time as a pork menu, would be a little weird." I agree.

Jan 18: Matthew Lishansky of Upstairs on the Square dishes on vegans and the restaurant biz

I've been a fan of Upstairs' GM Matt Lishansky ever since I met him, because he had recently hosted Henry, a student of mine from 826, for my food writing workshop, and had only sweet things to say about him. Recently we met up again at the Upstairs staff party, where Matt was in his element. We had a few beers, swapped a few stories, and the next day it occurred to me while I was writing up the upcoming vegan dinner series at Upstairs that it would be great to get his (confirmedly carnivorous) take on it, so I called him up. He graciously agreed to chat on the way to working two weddings. He gave me a great interview (who else would call himself a "sauce queen"?) and the inspiration to conduct more for this column.

Jan 18: Veggie Planet's Didi Emmons to teach Jan 31 curry class

The first time the b.f. and I ever took a cooking class together, it was with Didi Emmons. It was cheap, and it involved spring rolls -- which made it irresistable to us both. She's currently working with a class of teenagers at the Haley House, and it's easy to see why she's such an effective teacher for kids: she's approachable, she explains things clearly, she's unpretentious, she makes food that is fun to eat as well as to cook, and even if the class isn't hands-on (as ours wasn't), she makes it fun and engaging. We are definitely going to be attending this curry class!


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