Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Artful Vegan:Cookbook

Millennium restaurant has long been a favored restaurant when Lee's dad and stepmom come up to visit, because the menu is diverse enough to satisfy vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Not a tofu and sprouts kinda place, Millennium is known for its sophisticated offerings and presentation that make it the de facto celebration choice for many vegetarians and vegans.

Chef Eric Tucker along with Bruce Enloe have written a second Millennium cookbook, this one The Artful Vegan Fresh Flavors from The Millennium Restaurant. The cookbook makes a wonderful memento of meals at the restaurant. It is filled with "special occasion" type recipes, most of which require multiple preparations most easily prepared in a restaurant though modified for the home chef. Asparagus-rhubarb cannelloni with turmeric-orange sauce and herb aioli for example has two sauces to go with the main event. But in some ways this is actually good for the adventurous cook, because you can easily take bits and pieces to compliment your own recipes or come up with your own unique creations. There are also plenty of basic recipes for things like Cumin-Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms, vegetable stock and cashew cream, a substitute for heavy cream.

While some of the ingredients in the book may seem unusual--things like Sucanat, teff, umeboshi vinegar and agave nectar, most of the recipes use ingredients that are available locally in the Bay Area. For anyone interested in vegan desserts this book has a full range of cookies, cakes, tarts and sorbets guaranteed to please anyone with a sweet tooth. Though not a cookbook for the novice, for the adventurous cook looking to add more vegetarian or vegan recipes to their repertoire this book is a perfect pick. Knowing that Lee's stepmom Maggie has already tried to recreate some of the meals she's had at the restaurant, I'm hoping she'll enjoy this cookbook for years to come.