Michael Natkin on Herbivoracious
My journey as a serious cook began when I was 18 years old. My mother was dying from breast cancer and was trying a macrobiotic diet to see if it would help. A friend of mine, a vegetarian and a good cook, showed me the ropes so that I could make meals for my family. It didn’t take me long to realize that I loved everything about cooking.
When I moved to Providence for college, I was exposed to international cuisines that I’d never seen in my hometown of Louisville. I subsequently worked in a beautiful Zen Buddhist farm kitchen in California and traveled the world, gradually settling into a career as a software engineer, making dinosaurs for "Jurassic Park" and animation software for Adobe.
My love for cooking deepened through the years. I wanted to do more than simply prepare meals for my own family. I started my blog, Herbivoracious.com, in 2007. Thousands of people see fit to visit daily and share my passion for vegetarian food that draws on global inspirations and, above all, puts flavor and pleasure first. I also spent some months interning at restaurants in Seattle and New York. This book is the next step. I’ve brought together classic techniques and flavor combinations from around the world, along with ideas from cutting-edge cuisine, to create 150 original recipes that you will be able to use for every occasion, from casual weeknight suppers to your fanciest dinner party.
It seems that everyone I meet, even dedicated carnivores, recognizes the value of eating more plant-based meals. I’ve written Herbivoracious both for vegetarians and for others who are just looking to broaden an omnivorous repertoire.
This is the book for you if you’d like to eat lusty Crispy Polenta Cakes with White Beans and Morel Mushrooms, rich and fragrant Brown Butter Cornbread, or an unusual and refreshing salad of Persimmon, Parsley, and Black Olives. I get excited thinking about the aroma of making red curry paste from scratch, the first taste of a new year’s olive oil, or the texture of beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, and I want to share those discoveries with you.
"Michael Natkin has a talent for enticing and boldly flavored creations, in recipes that are colorful, thoughtful, and fresh!"
"If we had to choose one book to cook from in 2012, this would be it."
--The Washington Post