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Entertaining Vegetarians Paperback – September 3, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Celia Brooks Brown left Colorado in 1989 for England where she began her culinary career. She has cooked for director Stanley Kubrick and now runs a vegetarian cooking company popular with celebrities such as Stella McCartney.

Jan Baldwin is a leading food photographer and works for magazines such as World of Interiors and House and Garden.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Foreword

"A vegetarian is not a person who lives on vegetables, any more than a Catholic is a person who lives on cats." George Bernard Shaw

There are all sorts of reasons for giving up or cutting down on meat. For me, meat is something that has just never been appealing. I was nineteen when I moved to Britain from the U.S. in 1989, and back then I ate chicken occasionally, but I'd never eaten much other meat. I was no gourmet -- I lived on canned soup, salads, and fast food. Boiling water and opening cans was the extent of my culinary skills. Not long after I arrived, there was a food scare in Britain. It put me off chicken, and I gave up meat for good.

Soon after giving up meat, I started to develop an interest in cooking. This is no coincidence. I knew I couldn't live on cans of beans and lumps of fatty cheese. As my mental perception of food became more acute -- I started to see food as something other than just fuel -- my sensory perception improved too. I was desperate to learn how to cook, so I could explore the creative process of using ingredients, tools, and all five senses to make something delicious. The greatest satisfaction of all, I found, was giving other people pleasure through eating what I prepared. I soon discovered that food that is cooked with passion evokes passion in the person eating it.

The whole realm of food is a healthy obsession for me, and it's not limited to cooking. So much of the fun and fascination lies in shopping for fresh, high-quality ingredients in specialty food stores. It also includes poring through books about food and filling my head with recipes, folklore, and culinary and social history. I'm also rather partial to stuffing my face.

My passion became a career in vegetarian cooking through catering, teaching and writing. I'm certainly no vegetarian "evangelist." I merely hope to show people how easy and fun it can be to cook, and meat is simply not part of my repertoire. You must have what I call a "sensory relationship" with what you cook. If you can't engage every sense with your ingredients, what you cook just won't taste right. Even if I were to go through the mechanics of cooking a piece of meat, it would probably taste horrible.

My approach, in a nutshell, is this: Vegetarian cooking is more complex than simply throwing something under the broiler. It requires more thought, more construction. If you're not used to vegetarian cooking, try to think beyond the "meat and two vegetables" convention, in which vegetables play second fiddle. Try to create a balance of textures, colors, and flavors, and no one will notice the absence of meat.

Finally, when I tell people I'm vegetarian, the question that often follows is, "Do you eat fish?" OK, so vegetarians who eat fish are not technically vegetarians, but since when is the enjoyment of food been a technical business? I don't see it as hypocrisy to eat a bit of fish. People should be allowed to make their own decisions about what they put in their bodies and why. (That includes meat-eaters.) This modern breed of "pescetarians" are not rare, so I've included some fish recipes here for them, having done my best to recommend fish that is as eco-friendly as possible. This book is for every food lover, vegetarian or not. I hope you savor every page.

Celia Brooks Brown --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Whitecap Books; 1st edition (September 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552856860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552856864
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,547,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading and enjoying Worldwide Vegetarian Classics by the same author I was looking forward to another quality vegetarian cookbook and was astonished to find the last chapter devoted to seafood recipes for so-called 'pescarians' together with an unapologetic explanation of this incusion in the author's forward. Fish do not grow on plants and vegetarians do not eat fish! I do not condone or condemn the author's personal choice of eating style, but I do take exception that because the author chooses to eat fish she sees it as enough justification to include seafood recipes in a book which purports to be aimed at vegetarians. This book is titled 'Entertaining Vegetarians' not 'Entertaining Vegetarians and Seafood Eaters'. There are surely enough cookbooks out there to cater to those who partake of seafood without wasting a chapter of this book on yet more non-vegetarian recipes. The rest of the book is well produced with some interesting vegetarian dishes- a few more photos would be good for the visual vegetarians amongst us!
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Format: Paperback
Celia Brooks Brown's ENTERTAINING VEGETARIANS pairs lovely color photos by Ja Baldwin with a satisfying focus on a range of vegetarian dishes for parties, appetizers, and main courses. From brunch and outdoor cookery to sit-down dinners, the chapters in ENTERTAINING VEGETARIANS largely address what is the real challenge in vegetarian cooking - main courses and appetizers - with a bow to desserts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book two years ago and am still using it. I have been vegetarian since I was in the sixth grade (although I eat fish) and learned to cook from books and trial and error and I have become a fairly good cook over that time. I found Brown's recipes easy to follow. The book has a very English feel, but unlike other English cookbooks (or even my English friend) all the terms are American.

The book is filled with the most amazing photos of each dish. The book is broken into the different kind of parties you want to throw: canapés and cocktail bites, feed the masses, small courses, lunch & dinner meals, desserts, at the last minute, fire and ice, brunch and when they eat fish.

The chapter on At The Last Minute gives great ideas for pantry staples to feed friends who just show up (the best kind). Each chapter has a sample menu and ideas on having the party from shopping to presentation.

I used this book when I threw my Christmas party for around 20 people and everything was gobbled up. The Giant cheese and spinach pie is so easy and tasty. It will feed a crowd. The Teriyaki Almonds make great finger food. My favorite dish is the Mango Tofu Skewers. I have made it for many friends (meat eaters) and they love it. I also took this book with me to Texas and my rancher in-laws loved all the dishes I made.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is gorgeous. Finally a gourmet approach to vegetarianism. The freshest produce prepared so simply that the preparation doesn't blanket the pure beauty and appeal of the food itself. I highly recommend this one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to prepare tasty recipes for vegetarian entertaining.
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