Who: VEGdaily Co-founder and Ecorazzi Senior Editor Michael Parrish DuDellWhat: Four-course meal prepared by The Conscious Cook author Tal Ronnen.
Where: Candle 79, New York, NY
When: January 7, 2009
Why: Because the combination of Tal Ronnen’s food and Candle 79’s atmosphere are what dreams are made of!
The Scoop: It’s official: no one is ever allowed to call vegetarian food “boring” again! Last night I had the honor of spending the evening at Candle 79—an upscale vegan restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—and sampling the many culinary talents of celebrated chef Tal Ronnen.
For those who aren’t familiar with Ronnen’s work, he is the man responsible for helping Oprah go vegan for 21 days and the mastermind behind VegNews' 2009 "Book of the Year" and New York Times bestseller, The Conscious Cook. In his book, Ronnen says that after becoming vegetarian, he “became obsessed with the idea of creating vegan food that was just as mouth-watering and delicious as anything I’d ever had as a meat-eater.”
A sneak peek into the Candle 79 kitchen
Well, all of that obsession certainly paid off! The meal was out of control with such offerings as celery root soup, quinoa with Belgium endive and oranges, and a mouth-watering banana cheesecake.
Quinoa with Belgium endive and oranges—absolutely delicious!
However, the star of the evening was the third course: a scaloppini dish made with scrumptious Gardein chick’n. As my dinner guests and I took a bite of this perfectly prepared entrée, we all agreed that Gardein is going to forever change the vegetarian culinary world. All in all, this inspired meal proved just how dynamic and artful plant-based cuisine really can be and left each of us assured that, without a doubt, vegan food will take over the world. (Insert evil laughter here.)