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.