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East Village Book Signing

Vegetarian Gazette'as coverage of Amy Chaplin and Scott Chaskey  

It was Sunday in New York.

Spring, whose entrance was a well-kept secret, blossomed suddenly. . . It was Mother’s Day as well.

Angelica’s Kitchen, an East Village vegetarian outpost since 1976, added to the bouncy zeitgeist by hosting a mid-afternoon book-signing party for two of its friends — Amy Chaplin and Scott Chaskey

Amy Chaplin — chef, writer, recipe developer and consultant — had been the restaurant’s Executive Chef for seven years. Her book,  At Home In the Whole Food Kitchen (released in late 2014),  received awards from James Beard Foundation and IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

Scott Chaskey’s business card confirms what his face tells you. He is a farmer and a poet. The card also notes he is farm director at the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett.

New York State raised and Oxbridge educated, he’s sometimes referred to as the “spiritual father of the community farming movement.” His book —Seedtime: On the History, Husbandry, Politics and Promise of Seeds— celebrates biodiversity and is an appreciation of the essence of life, the aforementioned seed.

It was a simple, delightful and definitely tasteful event. It consisted of nibbles via Amy Chaplin recipes and a reading by Scott Chaskey.  Guests bit into green pea spread (with a touch of garlic to drive us crazy), and gluten free cherry (yum!) pecan (yum!) cookies. 

At the proper moment, Scott Chaskey glanced at his book and began to read out loud: “Seeds are often given the gift of wings, to assist their journey and to ensure another generation. It took several hundred million years or more to move from the birth of a single cell to the evolution of seed cones to the formation of seeds. And yet we now take for granted this magnificent dispersal — the language of transport of the plant kingdom — as if it were simply a mechanical inevitability rather than a mysterious gift of time. When the wings of a maple seed take off on the wind, or the cotton wings of a milkweed seed break from the pod to fly for another patch of soil, it is as if a word goes forth, an original phrase but also an ancient earthly melody . . .”

And you should hear what he says about clover.

Altogether it was a splendid gathering — a brief pop-up community, harvested from a larger ongoing community. And there was plenty of light in the remaining day.

For more Amy Chaplin information, click here. For more about the  Peconic Land Trust, click here.  (Look for Scott Chaskey’s book on the site's "Gift Shop” page.)