The Vegetarian Gazette

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Vegan: The Cookbook 

Vegan: The Cookbook, reviewed in,


When a Berlin chef publishes a vegan cookbook, take notice.

Berlin, home to 60 vegan restaurants (London has 40), is “the vegan capital of Europe.” So says Rodale’s Organic Life”

Which brings us to the French-born, world traveling, now-LA based raw food and vegan chef, Jean-Christian Jury and his new book, Vegan: The Cookbook (Phaidon).

Jury founded La Mano Verde, Berlin’s first all-vegan restaurant in 2008. He had settled in Berlin after leading a quite peripatetic lifestyle that took him into kitchens around the world. He closed La Mano Verde in 2015.

“I found,” he explained to This Dish Is Vegetarian , “I missed traveling, and, even with the success of my restaurant, I decided to close it.”

He added that he has been “constantly on the road, visiting vegan chefs, traveling to study the evolution of vegan food around the world, and continuing to learn about exciting new ingredients and cooking techniques. I have discovered beautiful vegan restaurants and met very talented vegan cooks throughout my travel.”

The new book (his second) is the latest entry in Phaidon’s culinary bible series, and contains 450 recipes from 150 countries. (We don’t know that he’s been to 150 countries, mind you — but he certainly has amassed those frequent flyer miles.)

If Chef Jury’s kitchens are like his book, they are organized, efficient, friendly, down to earth, and filled with the scents and sensibilities of the world’s plant-based bounty. Vegan: The Cookbook is a welcome and welcoming compendium of the many flavors and pleasures that we can rustle up in our own kitchens.

A few words about the book’s organization.

It begins with his more than 75-item “essential vegan pantry” list. The eight sections of the book — Starters, Salads, Soups, Main Courses, Grains & Beans, Pasta & Noodles, Desserts, and And Guest Chefs — are color-coded. The recipe info includes prep time, cooking time, and alternative measures and names (e.g. “1 cup (150g;” “snow peas, mangetout”). Also noted is the country of origin. There are four indexes — general, recipes by country, recipes by type of food (e.g. bakes, cakes, curry, dips) and recipes by course.

The thrill of discovery lurks in every page. Warning: sustained examination of this book may bring a goofy smile to your face. At least that was the experience of this reporter. It’s the inevitable reaction as you turn from “artichokes with almonds and fava beans” (Spain) to “baked polenta with shiitake mushrooms” (Italy) to “banana blossoms in coconut cream” (Philippines). Of course this last one calls for banana blossoms (fresh or canned). Okay, some ingredients may be out of stock in the local Stop & Shop; but a quick Web search should find ample sources for you.

The guest chefs and their restaurants are Dan Barber (Blue Hill), Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin), Kwang Uh (Baroo), Tony Lu (Fu He Hui), Michel Bras (Le Souquet), Alexis Gauthier (Gauthier SoHo), Jonathan Karpathios (Vork And Mes), and Xavier Pellicer (Céleri). Their offerings are a bit more elaborate.

Vegan: The Cookbook is laced with luscious photographs of the various creations. They would be considered porn, were it not for their redeeming social value.

“At the root of it,” writes Jury, in his intro, “vegan food is just food: vibrant, flavorful, fresh — making you feel good inside and out… The possibilities are seemingly endless and delicious.”
We concurry.

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