Annals of self-promotion: Laura interviews Carmen Vazquez of Gracias Madre!  »

Remember Brassica Supper Club? Oh, we loved it so much! Did you know that it is now considered defunct? DEFUNCT. Such a sadness. However, you can still eat food made by one-third of Brassica, creative genius Carmen Vasquez, who makes desserts at Gracias Madre! Yes, she makes that flan you can’t stop eating! Our Laura interviewed her for SFoodie blog, and because we love Carmen (and also self-promotion), we’re reposting most of that interview right here!

photo of cashew-milk flan by Gil Riego, Jr. for SF Weekly

Laura Beck: What inspired you to make the flan?

Carmen Vazquez: I can’t really say what inspired the creation of the flan. Ever since I found out about this new organic vegan Mexican restaurant, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I originally wanted to help with the development of the savory menu, but when I realized that was already done, desserts it was. I asked my Latino coworkers for ideas on traditional Mexican desserts and flan was the clear winner. It was a challenge, but I like challenging myself—maybe it’s the reason why I enjoy veganizing dishes no matter how “traditional” or difficult they may seem.

LB: Favorite veg food in the city?
CV: I LOVE our house-made corn tortillas! Wow, I’m a sucker for those things: fresh off the griddle with a couple slices of avocado, a sprinkle of salt, and some fresh ground pepper…it’s the best thing ever! But other than Gracias Madre, I really enjoy Millennium. They’ve really been an inspiration in my culinary career.

Ultimate cooking goals?
I’d like to eventually open up my own place. I’d also like to learn more about ingredients and food I’ve yet to experience. To veganize other traditional dishes. To influence other restaurants to choose organic, local, and sustainable produce. And to inspire non-vegans to make healthy and compassionate choices through food.


Feral cat controversy, jerks in Missouri, junk in your wine, and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

[image from Lucia Oberste of Zoomie’s Pet Care]

Fun-times vegan-style events!
OK there’s only one this week, and it’s not even 100 percent vegan, but one is better than zero, right? Right! So: Tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 3 from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Laskie Street parking lot (off Mission Street, between 8th and 9th Streets) in San Francisco you can attend the first Underground Street Food event! The website is a garish nightmare and requires you to subscribe to a mailing list for details, but it might be worth checking out.

Items of social and political import!
It seems like supperclubs in New York are having as much fun and success as they are in San Francisco. Although we are sure none holds a candle to our beloved friends at Brassica.

Ellen, the Humane Society, Halo products and are sponsoring Stamps to the Rescue campaign, selling first-class stamps with images of adopted shelter animals, and donating 1 million meals to animal shelters.

Salon has a neat little slideshow of five of the “least green” “green foods” campaigns, including those from Sara Lee, Fiji water, McDonald’s, Monsanto, and Syngenta.

So what’s the deal with zoophilia? Is it a legitimate sexual orientation? Can it ever be acceptable behavior?

NATO has decided that hey, we are not as tragically underfunded and pathetic as U.S. public schools, we do not need Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, or Dairy Queens on our bases in Afghanistan any more; our canteens serve the same food, anyway.

Remember the horror that was the Paula Deen dinner party? James Brady Ryan of Pop Torture took it a step further and served only Sandra Lee “semi-homemade” dishes. Yes, it actually does end in vomiting.

Actually homemade: Vegetarian Times has four vegan cheese recipes! I’m making the goat cheese as soon as I get my hands on some cashews—review to come.

Apparently fresh produce carts are not as popular in New York City as the mayor had hoped, or at least not in the areas he would like them to be set up.

Geraldine Baum would like you to know that she buys and wears fur because she’s cold, and because her Russian grandmother said it was a very important status symbol, SO THERE.

There’s a feral cat colony in Daly City that needs feeding a few times a week—please contact Nadine May for more information.

Oh awesome, New Jersey: let’s reclassify feral cats as “exotic” animals so instead of following a successful trap, neuter, release program, we can just try to shoot them to death!

Even more awesome: Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle organized an email petition of Missouri state legislators, asking them to vote against opening a horse slaughterhouse—currently illegal in the U.S.—and in return many representatives harrassed her.

It’s hard out there for an omni-locavore; “there are a lot of people out there who raise great animals for us to use, and they don’t have the opportunity to get them to us because the slaughterhouses are going away.”

Paul Shapiro of the HSUS is working on a campaign in Ohio for Nov. 2010 similar to California’s 2008 Prop. 2. There’s also a little interview with him in the Mar. 22 issue of Restaurant News.

Even Josh Ozersky, the coolest eating-est dude who ever ate a cool thing, advocates giving up bluefin tuna, lest the species be eaten to extinction.

Watch out for 2008 pinot noirs from the Anderson Valley; winemakers have been using isinglass, “milk byproducts,” and egg whites to alter the extra-smoky flavors left by the wildfires during that year’s grape-growing season.

Should mainstream food writers “disclose” their food preferences, specifically their vegetarianism? The Accidental Hedonist says no.

Pescetarians can ease their consciences with a new U.S.-based “Which Fish to Eat?” guide from GOOD. Hooray.

And eaters of pigs can feel better knowing their pork suppers won’t be made from pigs who cannot walk or stand on their own anymore, or at least not in California.

Why won’t the U.S. government pay for more Plumpy’nut? It’s super-successful, it’s cheap, and it’s vegetarian. What is Plumpy’nut? Basically, magic.

Daz and Chip, two best-friend otters who lived in Nelson, New Zealand, died within an hour of each other this week.

Late addition video to cheer you up! Clever bunny Pallina makes the bed and opens a jar! (link from Cute Overload)


Cops shut down Brassica Supperclub!!  »

This past Friday, the SFPD raided the beloved, the delicious, THE BENIGN Brassica Supperclub and forced them to shut down. OH HELL NO. Aren’t there real crimes going on in this city to focus on? Like rapings and beatings and shiz? A VEGAN SUPPERCLUB. Ain’t nobody getting sick from some cabbage, fools.

The weirdest part, some guests overheard one of the police say that they were vegetarian and that they wanted to stay and eat but couldn’t! I mean, how is that for bizarre? Oh and the cops MADE A RESERVATION. Way to infiltrate, po-po! This is more sophisticated shit than The Wire!

Anyway, not to get all Free Murat on your asses but, is there anything we can do??


Bid on Dinner with Zoë Stagg at Brassica Supperclub! DO IT.  »

So the lovely Zoë Stagg (seen on the pages of Vegansaurus before and will soon have a regularly featured column here WATCH OUT WORLD!) is offering herself up to the highest bidder (NOT LIKE THAT PERVS! Okay, maybe like that. Are you attractive? BE HONEST.). We think a Vegansaurus reader should get on this. Awesome vegan lady, awesome cause, awesome dinner. Win win win win win.

Zoë writes:

Okay, if Sarah Palin can auction off a private dinner with herself to benefit Ride 2 Recovery (starting bid $25,000…) perhaps I could do the same? You know, scaled to my… let’s just say, scaled as differently we are.

HOW’S ABOUT IT?!? Have dinner with me at Brassica Supperclub to benefit Honor Flight, the fantastic charity that provides free trips to WWII (and other) veterans so they can see the memorial dedicated to their efforts. Let’s say we’ll start the bidding at $25. I’m at least worth a thousandth of a Palin, right?

After all, as the poet laureate John Michael Montgomery says,

I’d give anything to make you mine, all mine…


Brassica Giveaway WINNER!!!  »

Congratulations, commenter helene0307! Please contact us ASAP so we can get you your prize!

All the rest of you super-awesome amazing contestants, thanks for playing! Come back soon for our next contest—it’ll be great!

Actually, come back all the time; Vegansaurus is always great.


FRIDAY GIVEAWAY, TRAMPS!!! Brassica Supperclub!!  »

Y’all. We’re giving away a free dinner at Brassica Supperclub. GOD WE ARE SO BENEVOLENT.

To get you excited, here is this weekend’s deeeeelicious Brassica menu:

Salad - Mexican Caesar with Romaine Hearts, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Cornbread Croutons, Pickled Radish and Fried Capers

Soup - Pozole Rojo with Hominy and Fresh Corn, Avocado, Shredded Cabbage, and Lime

Entree - Mexican Millet Pilaf and Pioppini Picadillo Stuffed Peppers, over Braised Collards, with Smoky Pinto Beans, and Mole Rojo Sencillo

Dessert - Deep Fried Vanilla-Blackberry Ice Cream, with Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce, and Mexican Wedding Cookies

You’re gonna eat (something like) all that FOR FREE CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE IT?! Neither can we! You totally don’t deserve it!

All you have to do to is type a number between 1 and 500 in the comment section below and whoever has the number closest to the one that generates, wins. EASY PEASY, right? Here at Vegansaurus, we don’t believe in thought. In fact, you’re now ten times stupider than when you began reading! Let’s get drunk and break some shit! WOO!!

(we’ll choose the winner in like a week or less so you know, hurry. Kinda.)


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