Thursday, May 2, 2013

Green book review - Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen by Merida Anderson

A vegan dining club? Yes, it does really exists and it is run by chef Merida Anderson in Vancouver  Montreal and New York, where she proves that sophisticated dinner parties can be fun, tasty and vegan too! Don't believe it? Have a look at her book "Vegan Secret Supper", which is the green book we review this week!

Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen by Merida Anderson (publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press)

What this book is about?

The art of the convivial, joyful meal shared with friends and family has evolved in recent years. The growing popularity of dinner clubs and themed potlucks attest to our desire for get-togethers at home that are out of the ordinary; also, temporary pop-ups and secret supper locales (where the address is often kept under wraps) are redefining the notion of the traditional restaurant meal. But where do vegans fit into all this fun for foodies?

Vegan Secret Supper is a collection of imaginative, delectable, animal-free recipes by chef Mérida Anderson of VSS (Vegan Secret Supper), a dining club that she has run in Vancouver, Montreal, and New York. At VSS, Mérida creates amazing vegan dishes that prove that sophisticated, spectacular dinner parties do not require the use of animal products. With her focus on menu-planning and simple, seasonal ingredients, she offers readers all the tools they need to create healthy, sumptuous meals, whether it's a dish for a potluck, a romantic dinner for two, or a celebration for twenty.

Full-color throughout, the book's recipes include split pea bisque with minted cream; smoked cauliflower on red quinoa tabouli; walnut and roasted yam croquettes with spicy balsamic beet reduction; and chocolate blackberry cashew cheesecake. As well, Mérida offers fantastic tips and insight on how to create your own vegan secret supper club at home. 

About the author
Mérida Anderson is a self-taught chef who became vegan at the age of sixteen. She is also a photographer, visual artist, clothing designer, and musician.

Our review:
I take vegan books with a bit of hesitation. They are either really good or really awful. This book, Vegan Secret Supper, I am very pleased to say is one of the really fantastic ones. It is sophisticated and refined. It has plates and recipes for any taste and every taste. It takes into account nutrition as well as the vegan ideology and thankfully is not just tofu and soy.

I really liked that it gives full meals, not just pieces and parts that you then have to put together on your own. Then the author goes on to give helpful plating instructions. This book offers all courses of a meal from the starter to the dessert and everything in between. The handmade ice cream recipes with instructions of ‘how-to’ without using an ice cream maker, not only work, but work well to produce a wonderful variety of ice creams. I was very pleased with the outcome.

I am happily making my way recipe by recipe and page by page through this book. The author has a way of instruction that is easy to understand and then implement. I will add that if you are looking for a quick meal, this book may not be for you. Although most can be made up rather quickly, it does take a bit more time and planning than pre-processed food.

I highly, and definitely recommend this book. Even the carnivores in my house have found enjoyment from the dishes within.

You can purchase the book on