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The Post Punk Kitchen, Vegan Food From the Web to the Restaurant

The Post Punk Kitchen, Vegan Food From the Web to the Restaurant

A chat with the vegan icon Isa Chandra Moskowitz about the brand new restaurant she's going to open in May, her favourite recipes and sources of inspiration.

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Hard to find a vegan who doesn't own the recipe book Vegan Cupcakes take over the world or Vegan cookies Invade your jar. Or Isa Chandra Moskowitz' first book ever, Vegan with a Vengeance, published in 2005, definitely a reference when it comes to vegan cuisine.

Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Isa Chandra Moskowitz was very much into Lower East Side's punk rock scene during the 80s. It is there that she learned about vegetarian culture and later adopted veganism. The Post Punk Kitchen is her first cooking show as well as the name of her official website, full of recipes and videos such as her latest series Make it Vegan, produced by Zero Point Zero, famous for making No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, in New York. Nowadays, she lives in Nebraska and is joining the 2.0 generation of chefs in going from online to an offline life with the opening of her restaurant Modern Love in Omaha, in May. People can't wait to taste her food.

Isa gives a few insights to Fine Dining Lovers: “We don't have an exact opening date yet, we're still building it out, but we are hoping for mid-May. The menu is going to be very seasonal: I am working with local growers to get the freshest produce possibly, and the menu will be revolving around what beautiful vegetables our farmers have. That said, I am calling it 'swanky vegan comfort food'. I am drawing inspiration from comfort foods across America and making them a little bit fancy. To give you an idea: a soul plate with barbecue tofu made with local berries. Over ginger sweet potatoes and with a big serving of garlicky greens. A pub food plate, with homemade vegan sausages, a cauliflower mash, cashew mushroom gravy, and once again those greens. We've gotta' get those greens in where ever we can.”

Isa published a new recipe book Isa Does It, with 150 recipes for the busy home cook, to make healthy, everyday meals in a snap. There are plenty of beautiful pictures and 30 minute meals, and the ones that take longer are designed with built-in downtime; so while the quinoa and lentils are simmering, you can sit back, relax and play with your cat. It's her eight recipe book, and according to her the one she always wanted to publish: “Isa Does It is my dream cookbook. I hadn't done a beautiful, full-color, hardcover book before. I wanted a big, gorgeous book that is as much fun to read as it is to cook from. I also wanted the book to be a staple in kitchens everywhere, with ingredients that are accessible and recipes that are simple enough but pack a big flavor punch.”

Isa is full of ideas, she has written tons of recipes on the web and for magazines. Where does she find her inspiration? “I get inspiration everywhere! Sometimes it's simply a craving I have. If I'm dying for a gingery stew, I use what I have on hand to make it, and voilà, a new recipe. Sometimes it's a holiday inspiration, like a decadent romantic brunch for Valentine's or a something spicy for Cinco De Mayo. I also love to ask my friends what they are in the mood for, and whipping them up the dinner of their dreams. And sometimes it's just as simple as finding some beautiful produce, like purple cauliflower, and creating a meal around it.” If you want to get an idea and download Isa's recipes for free go to Make it Vegan, there yo will find the recipe for the delicious Quinoa Caesar salad with tofu, Roasted red pepper Mac&Cheese and Rosemary chocolate chip cookies. In alternative, you can plan a trip to Omaha and get a taste her real cooking.

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