THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE named one of “The Best Cookbooks of 2014” on KCRW’s “Good Food”

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“I’m beyond impressed….I’m blown away by this book.”
–Evan Kleiman, host, “Good Food” on KCRW (Los Angeles)

“Based on the same principles of their original work [THE FLAVOR BIBLE], [THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE] focuses on how to pair vegetal flavors and how to achieve balance with your ingredients. Their legions of fans will rejoice.”
–Celia Sack, owner, Omnivore Books (San Francisco)

Evan Kleiman (above, top) has been hosting “Good Food,” one of America’s very best public radio food shows, for more than 15 years on KCRW, Los Angeles’ flagship NPR affiliate.  Since 1997, she’s brought to bear her considerable expertise as a chef-restaurateur (of the late, much-beloved Angeli Caffe, which had a 28-year run) and cookbook author.  Evan has developed an enthusiastic national following for her show (which can be accessed online) by bringing an insider’s insight to her interviews with literally thousands of leading experts, from farmers to chefs to cookbook store owners.

That includes Celia Sack (above, bottom), the proprietor of San Francisco’s Omnivore Books (located in Noe Valley), which is renowned for its extraordinary collection of new, signed, and vintage cookbooks.  Sack is not only a long-time collector of extraordinary cookbooks, but she’s also an author herself (of The Omnivore’s Recipe Keeper, from Ten Speed Press). Omnivore Books is not only a favorite of food-loving tourists, but also of countless notable Bay Area food professionals including Alice Waters.  (And a bit of trivia:  Celia’s very first cookbook was Evan Kleiman’s Cucina Rustica, which Celia credits with teaching her how to make pasta and cook for herself when she was just out of college!)

Now you can understand the degree our excitement to discover that when Evan and Celia got together to discuss “The Best Cookbooks of 2014,” our own new book THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE was on their list!  (Celia’s complete list includes Sherry by Talia Baiocchi, Salade by Pascal Biel, Heritage by Sean Brock, Salmagundi by Sally Butcher, Shrubs by Michael Dietsch, A Boat, A Whale, and a Walrus by Renee Erickson, A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, and Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell.)

Our heartfelt thanks to both Evan and Celia for their very kind words this year for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, which are bringing what we know in our hearts to be our best book yet to the attention of not only food lovers throughout California but all across the country.

“Good Food” and host Evan Kleiman can be found at www.kcrw.com.

Omnivore Books is at 3885 Cesar Chavez St. in San Francisco.  415.282.4712.  Website: www.omnivorebooks.com.

THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE Featured in December Issue of FOOD & WINE As One of 40 “Exceptional Cookbooks”

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The December 2014 issues of Food & Wine magazine (available on newsstands now) features cooking tips from 40 of the season’s “exceptional cookbooks.”

We’re delighted to see THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE cited as one of them!

The 40 cookbooks mentioned in this issue include:  The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel, Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns, America Farm-to-Table by Mario Batali and Jim Webster, The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman, The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura, Heritage by Sean Brock, A Good Food Day by Marco Canora, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen by Dana Cowin, Tacolicious by Sara Deseran, Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook by Harold Dieterle and Andrew Friedman, The Bread Exchange by Malin Elmlid, Inside the Test Kitchen by Tyler Florence, Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, The Kitchn Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand, North by Gunnar Karl Giaslason and Jody Eddy, Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton, Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts by Brooks Headley, Brown Sugar Kitchen by Tanya Holland, Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini, A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow, Meat by Pat LaFrieda, Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, Mallmann On Fire by Francis Mallmann, Bitter by Jennifer McLagan, Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton, Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich, My Portugal by George Mendes, Sweet & Southern by Ben Mims, Sunday Suppers by Karen Mordechai, French Roots by Jean-Pierre Moulle and Denise Lurton Moulle, Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan, Jamie’s Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver, Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, The Slanted Door by Charles Phan, Relae by Christian F. Puglisi, Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart, How to Roast by Michael Ruhlman, Marcus Off-Duty by Marcus Samuelsson, New Latin Flavors by Richard Sandoval, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul by Aarti Sequeira, The New England Kitchen by Jeremy Sewall and Erin Byers Murray, Handmade Baking by Kamran Siddiqi, Eat by Nigel Slater, A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson, The Tucci Table by Stanley Tucci, Fabio’s American Home Kitchen by Fabio Viviani, Della Fattoria Bread by Kathleen Weber, and My Perfect Pantry by Geoffrey Zakarian.

Food & Wine magazine can be found online at foodandwine.com.

THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE Named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “10 Favorite Cookbooks of the Season”

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We’re overjoyed that yesterday afternoon, The Chicago Tribune‘s Bill Daleynamed THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE one of their “10 Favorite Cookbooks of the Season.”

They gave fair warning to their readers: “Don’t expect recipes,” they wrote.  “Dig, instead, into flavor inspirations for plant-based cooking (vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc.) offered by [Karen] Page, her photographer-chef-husband Andrew Dornenburg and dozens of chefs. Page tackles some science (i.e. how we taste, smell) and culinary cravings (Miss bacon? Try smoked paprika. Need creaminess without the cow? Try coconut milk.). For those who love to cook (and maybe only dabbled in vegetarian cooking), Page presents an encyclopedic approach to ingredients (acai to zucchini flowers), explaining how to use them and their ‘flavor affinities.'”

You can read about all ten picks — which include 1000 Spanish Recipes by [the late] Penelope Casas, Inside the Test Kitchen by Tyler Florence, Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, Pork by Cree LeFavour, What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby, My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz, Saveur by the editors of Saveur, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Pelaez and Ellen Silverman, and Mad Delicious by Keith Schroeder — here.

(P.S.  If you’re a journalist in need of a review copy of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, you can request one from Little, Brown’s Cathy Gruhn at cathy.gruhn@hbgusa.com.)

The Chicago Tribune has long had one of our favorite newspaper food sections in America.  You can enjoy “Good Eating” online here.

THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE Named 1 of 5 of “This Season’s Hits” by Bloomberg’s Peter Elliot

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Peter Elliot gets around.  The James Beard Award-winning writer always seems to be on the go, covering the restaurant scene for Bloomberg from San Francisco to London and beyond.  He’s also in the know, long conversing with top names in the business for his radio show not to mention researching Sirio, his acclaimed biography of Le Cirque restaurateur Sirio Maccioni.

So when Peter cites THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE as one of just five of “this season’s hits” (Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton, Flour & Water by Thomas McNaughton, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, and Relae by Christian Puglisi) in his 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, it means something.

Thank you, Peter!

Peter Elliot can be found online at www.peterelliot.org.

“Afternoon Tea with the Queen”

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Left: Karen Page with Fran Costigan; Right: Fran Costigan’s latest book Vegan Chocolate

“Fran Costigan‘s goodies are a treat for both body and soul; I can’t think of anything more delicious than her famous Chocolate Cakes to Live For….They are sheer heaven!”
Kathy Freston, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Veganist

“I’m still drooling thinking about the chocolate plant-strong wedding cake you made for our wedding….”
Rip Esselstyn, author of the bestselling Engine 2 Diet

“When I wanted to make a chocolate cake for a vegan friend, I didn’t know where to begin. Thankfully, Fran Costigan came to the rescue. I made her Chocolate Cake. I couldn’t believe how utterly delicious it was! No one who tasted the tender-crumbed, dark chocolate cake guessed that it was made with whole-wheat pastry flour, maple syrup, no eggs, and oil instead of butter. Even I, the big doubter, was terribly impressed and very pleased to know that such good confections can be made in a healthful manner without losing their taste. Cooking from Fran’s book has taught me to open my mind to new possibilities. Vegan I am not, but I’d make this cake (and many of her other recipes) again, purely for my own selfish enjoyment.”
Deborah Madison, award-winning author of The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

OK, so it wasn’t actually tea — it was coffee and hot apple cider.  And it wasn’t the Queen of England — it was the woman who’s been called “the Queen of Vegan Desserts.”

Fran Costigan‘s sweet dairy-free and egg-free creations have won raves from some of the most critical palates around. When we first met this fellow author at Karen’s November 13th event at the 92nd Street Y (where Karen was interviewed by our mutual friend Candle 79’s Joy Pierson), we were delighted to connect with another long-time culinary professional who’d come to adopt a plant-based diet.  But it wasn’t until this week that we had the pleasure of sitting down with Fran to hear about her transition.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to discover that Fran has classical training in pastry arts, having studied everywhere from the original Peter Kump’s Cooking School (on the Upper East Side, for those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember it!) to the New York Restaurant School to the Natural Gourmet Institute.  Fran said she’d identified with Karen’s comments during the 92nd Street Y event about not feeling well before making the transition to a plant-based diet, which led to better health, the elimination of aches and pains, and even weight loss.

Fran shared the wise insight that vegan baking is actually much easier than classical baking — the opposite of what many expect.  “There are no eggs to crack, there’s no butter to cream,” she explains.  “There’s only combining wet and dry ingredients.  And there’s no risk of getting salmonella from tasting the batter!”

It’s surprising that we hadn’t crossed paths with each other sooner, given that Fran is an active member of the culinary and publishing communities, with membership in the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance (NYWCA), Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), and The Authors Guild.  But better late than never — especially when it comes to meeting dessert royalty!

Fran Costigan can be found at francostigan.com.

Fran’s latest book Vegan Chocolate can be ordered at amazon.com.

THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE named one of “The 20 Best Cookbooks of 2014”

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Having grown up in Detroit watching Canadian TV (from “The Friendly Giant” to “Mr. Dressup”) and listening to Canadian radio (CKLW’s “Top 40”), Karen has always felt a special affinity with our neighbors to the north.  So it’s especially nice when the affection is returned!

And it was returned today in spades, when THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE was named by Chris Nuttall-Smith of The Globe and Mail (“The New York Times of Canada,” our Canadian friends have told us) as one of “The 20 Best Cookbooks of 2014.”

The Globe and Mail reports, “We ask a lot of cookbooks: to make us hungry, to comfort and entertain us, to open new worlds that are visible only through food. We want all that and we want them to help us cook delicious things, too. These are Chris Nuttall-Smith’s top picks from 2014 – 20 books that deliver all that and will keep you coming back for more.”

Of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, Nuttall-Smith writes, “The concept is gloriously simple: Instead of recipes, this indispensable reference gives buying information, ‘flavour affinities’ and key techniques for just about any fruit, vegetable or vegetarian-friendly foodstuff imaginable, from acai to jaggery to zucchini blossoms. Want to know what to do with that farro, for instance? There are more than 100 ideas here. And that’s just one entry. The most useful food book I’ve encountered in years.”

You can read about all 20 of Nuttall-Smith’s picks — which include The SoBo Cookbook by Lisa Ahier; Mexico: The Cookbook, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte, Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal, Heritage by Sean Brock, Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton, Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini, Death & Co. by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day, JK: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook by Jamie Kennedy with Ivy Knight, Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallman, The Crumbs Family Cookbook by Claire and Lucy McDonald, Bitter by Jennifer McLagan, Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich, My Portugal by George Mendes, Ceviche by Martin Morales, Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, The Great Lobster Cookbook by Matt Dean Pettit, Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu, Marcus Off Duty by Marcus Samuelsson, A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorissen — here.

Chris Nuttall-Smith‘s writing for The Globe & Mail can be found at theglobeandmail.com.

THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE cited as a “New Landmark Cookbook”

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“I believe the future is vegetables and fruit.  They are so much sexier than a piece of chicken.”
Jose Andres, on “60 Minutes,” as quoted in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE

“Flavor profiles are really in the herbs or the vegetables, not the protein.  That is what determines the character of the dish.”
Tom Colicchio, in Hamptons magazine, as quoted in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE

“Probably 70 percent of our dishes are vegetarian.  We’re moving away from all the meat.”
Daniel Humm, to GrubStreet.com, as quoted in THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE

Last week, registered dietitian Kristine Duncan, who’s been eating vegetarian since the 1990s, asked in her blog Veg Girl RD, “Is Vegetarianism Going Mainstream?” The first piece of evidence of this trend she cites is the publication of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, along with learning that the keynote speakers at September’s International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle — authors of “the well-respected reference THE FLAVOR BIBLE” (i.e., us!) — have been eating vegetarian since May 2012.

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Today, Karen’s interview with the food editor of The Oregonian about THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE appears, marking yet another important piece of evidence: Portland-based Grant Butler is the first vegan food editor of a major city newspaper, having announced his conversion on February 1, 2010.  And he’s not alone — The Washington Post‘s food editor Joe Yonan (who edited our wine column when we wrote for the Post in 2007-08) declared his vegetarianism on March 4, 2013.

In its historic (Chapter 1) and trend-based (Chapter 2) sections, THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE chronicles the intersection of vegetarian, gastronomic, global, health, and flavor trends that are intersecting in 2014, indeed leading us to this juncture of mainstream vegetarianism — with fully 54% of Americans now seeking to reduce (47%) or eliminate (7%) meat from their diets.

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Today, most of the country’s very best restaurants — such as Alinea, DANIEL, Eleven Madison Park, The French Laundry, the Inn at Little Washington, and Per Se — offer vegetarian and even vegan tasting menus.  Jean-Georges Vongerichten announced his intention of opening a vegan restaurant in 2015.

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Since THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE went to press, more evidence keeps mounting, including:

Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich‘s Manhattan four-star restaurant Del Posto‘s introduction of a vegan tasting menu, as reported by Serious Eats’ Ed Levine in a post titled “The Age of the Vegan Tasting Menu”

– Chef Amanda Cohen‘s uber-popular restaurant Dirt Candy — only the second vegetarian restaurant in history to have earned two stars from The New York Times — closed in order to focus on opening in a new, larger space more than double the size in early 2015

– Chef Alain Ducasse removed meat from the menu of his Michelin three-star restaurant Plaza Athenee in Paris

– Chef Joel Robuchon declared in an October 24, 2014, article on the rise of vegetarianism in France in The Telegraph, that “The cuisine of the next ten years will be vegetarian.”

In today’s column, The Oregonian refers to THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE as a “landmark cookbook.”  As vegetarianism has moved from the margins to the mainstream, we are seeing it being embraced by readers — restaurant and home cooks alike — who have been asking for more specific advice about cooking with a wider array of plant-based ingredients, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and more.  In its 576 pages (nearly 50% larger than the original), THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE delivers that advice in spades.

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Duncan (of Veg Girl RD) quotes Ming Tsai on the subject of cooking vegetarian:  “You got to get over yourself, right?” Tsai says. “Thomas Keller, who’s probably the best chef in this country, if not the world, he accommodates. He has a vegetarian tasting menu. He can easily do 10 courses vegan if you want, right? He’s smart. I think if Thomas Keller can accommodate, every other cook in this world should do it, too.”

We’re proud to have created “a new landmark cookbook” that will help cooks everywhere tap their own creativity to make plant-based ingredients taste better than they ever dreamed possible.  Nothing but nothing is more exciting to creators of a years-long labor of love than seeing their creation being welcomed into people’s lives, knowing it has the potential to bring them both better health and greater pleasure for years to come.

Grant Butler writes about food and the arts for The Oregonian, and can be found online at oregonlive.com.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible Hits Book Larder’s Bestseller List for November 2014

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“It’s a kitchen must-have!”
–Book Larder in Seattle, on THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE

Seattle-based Book Larder is a community cookbook store owned by the lovely Lara Hamilton that features an extraordinary selection of cookbooks and cookbook events, where it was a pleasure to visit November 4th for an event around THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE.   We were delighted to learn today that the book hit #9 on the bookstore’s bestseller list for the month of November 2014!

Book Larder is located at 4252 Fremont Ave. N., in Seattle.  206.397.4271.  Web:  www.booklarder.com.

Thanksgiving Brunch at Per Se Benefits Toys for Tots

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At left:  (top) Sign at Per Se; (bottom) Balloon sculpture of a chef; At right (left to right): James Beard Award-winning radio host Leonard Lopate, his wife painter Melanie Baker, our host Chef Thomas Keller, and Karen Page

The invitation to Per Se‘s annual Thanksgiving Brunch for friends and family (our annual Thanksgiving morning tradition for the past several years) read, “Please join Per Se in collecting new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots.  Toys will be distributed as holiday gifts to children in need throughout the New York City community.”

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Top left (left to right): Sommelier Aldo Sohm, spirits executive Catherine Roman, and Karen Page; Bottom left: Karen Page with Relais & Chateaux’s Brenda Homick and her husband; Center: Stephanie’s shoes!

In addition to having arguably the best view in Manhattan of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, we don’t know of another annual Thanksgiving brunch anywhere having better food — and given the array of offerings there’s no doubt both 5-year-olds and 50-year-olds would agree!  From homemade pretzels (including versions stuffed with fruit preserves or chocolate ganache) to popcorn to pancakes, there is an astounding variety of sweet and savory treats.

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The pancake station in the kitchen at Per Se

And those aren’t just any pancakes, by the way, but Per Se pancakes — in other words, some of the very best pancakes we’ve ever tasted in our lives.  Andrew was amazed to shoot this photo of how each pancake was cooked in its own individual skillet.

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Top right: Karen with Per Se’s wine director Michel Couvreux, whom we featured in our book THE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO WINE

This annual party is great fun for kids of all ages, with the view of the parade offering nearly eye-level access to the balloons (although our cameras kept catching their rear view along Central Park South!).

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The cotton candy station at Per Se

Cotton candy is not just for kids when it’s made at Per Se — flavors like Cherry-Vanilla appealed to grown-up tastes just as much.

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Top right: Karen chats with USMC Toys for Tots volunteer Jeremiah about this annual program to collect toys for children throughout New York City

The event brought in a number of donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots — but Jeremiah told Karen that they’re receiving requests every day during the holiday season, so your support is much appreciated.

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Left: Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Judith Regan, and Judith’s niece Ava; Right: Andrew, Judith, Ava, and Judith’s nephew Quinn

P.S.  ‘Tis the season for holiday miracles:  The first person we ran into when we got out of our cab and were dashing to Per Se was none other than Judith Regan, with whom we’d just spent two hours chatting about Thanksgiving on her annual pre-Thanksgiving radio show (on which we’ve been regular guests for years) this past Saturday morning!

Per Se is at 10 Columbus Circle in New York City.  Website:  www.thomaskeller.com/per-se.

Toys for Tots is at www.toysfortots.org.