Daniel Patterson continues to be our city’s greatest chef! No, that is a lie, he still cooks and eats animal products, and I just don’t see how you can be the very best if you’re not vegan. But he is seriously amazing. He loves vegetables, and made this amazing soup (some of us have dreams about that soup), and honestly we could watch him make these beet roses all day. Never mind eating them, just watching him do it.

It’s fascinating in the way those Sesame Street segments about how things get made are—the one about crayons is one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. Those cheerful employees are most likely unemployed/dead now, replaced by robots/Mexican workers paid less than $1 a day. American progress!

But, Daniel Patterson, he’s just wonderful. He gave a really interesting two-part interview (1, 2) to Eater, which you should definitely read. This beet rose, holy cow, it’s so deliberate and painstaking and turns out so beautiful, it makes me tear up. I don’t even like beets! This is why restaurants. This is why “vegetable cuisine.”


Meat prices are higher; the solution is clearly theft  »

Obviously this is the most sensible thing to do: steal meat from the grocery store—hide it in your pants!—and sell it to restaurants at a discount. Or just steal the still-living animals from which the meat come.

Definitely don’t eat things that are not meat. What kind of sucker stops buying a food because it’s become prohibitively expensive? Don’t find delicious, affordable alternatives—grains, legumes, nuts, pulses—that would be practical and smart.

No; just steal meat.

[“The Harvest Moon” by Samuel Palmer via Yale Digital Commons]


Recipe: Dave Arnold’s vegan clam chowder!  »

Oh, Eater; often you are ridiculous (and mean!), but very occasionally you have some great features. Like Ask Dave Arnold, in which the director of technology at the French Culinary Institute answers reader questions. For this installment, Dave explains how he would make a vegan clam chowder, and it is fascinating! Here’s his summary:

The flow:
Make kombu dashi.
If making New England, make nut/rice milk.
Sauté mushrooms and add to dashi with crumpled nori and smoke powder.
Make seitan and simmer in dashi for an hour or so.
Remove seitan and sautee (this should make it chewier and tastier).
Sauté onions, sweat some celery, add dashi and diced potatoes. Bring to boil.

For Manhattan: Add tomato juice, diced tomatoes, and sautéed seitan. Cook till potatoes are tender.

For New England: Cook till potatoes are tender, add seitan and nut/rice milk and reheat to just below the boil.

This comes after like eight explanatory paragraphs and a photo of some hidaka kombu. It sounds really, really tasty, almost makes me wish it weren’t the exact opposite of chowder weather. Maybe some vegans in the Southern Hemisphere want to make it? It’s winter in New Zealand!


You’ve got lunch plans: veggie burger power hour!  »

Our own Laura has taken over the reigns of Eater SF’s Burger Week and she’s turned it veggie for the day! Enter the Veggie Burger Power Hour! At 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern, get a veggie burger for lunch and tell the world! When you get your veggie burger, tweet about it with the hashtag #vegburgerarmy! Laura says, “If you can add a picture, that’s major bonus points! I’ll be posting or re-tweeting the most delicious, so your brilliant lunch will be admired by many.” OMG you could be Twitter-famous!

For you SF folk, you have extra time! Laura is holding the Power “Hour” from noon to 2 p.m. Same deal: tweet it with the #vegburgerarmy hashtag!

Laura says, if you don’t make it out for a veggie burger today, “I’d still like to hear your votes for best veggie burger in San Francisco (or around the country, she can pass them on to the National folks!) for possible highlight on the site. Just email them into me here with ‘Veggie Burgers!’ in the subject header. If your favorites make the cut, you’ll see your burger (and name!) in lights. Woo!” Wow, Laura sounds so pro on Eater! And by “pro” I mean SQUARE. [Ed.: Truth!]


PCRM’s ad campaign: Science says Big Macs are nasty!  »

[can’t see the video? watch it at!]

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine* (PCRM) released the above commercial totally and morbidly dissing McDonald’s after a recent study they conducted shows just how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And McDonald’s is pissed!:

This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald’s trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them.

Outrageous and outlandish? Them’s fightin’ words! But PCRM’s findings are pretty scary. The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. HOLY CRAP! Check out that sodium number! Good lord. Even the sweetly permissive USDA only recommends up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that’s counting foods with naturally occurring sodium (although mostly those are dairy products, ew).

Other people are backing McDonald’s in this time of need, including the Wall Street Journal community. So far, 54 percent of them say the ad is unfair! Wah! BTW, I say we go over and vote. Give them some perspective! Our Meave had a few words to say in response to this:

Of course the WSJ crowd is voting it “unfair”; readers of the WSJ are [stereotypically] super-capitalist, super-individualist Randies who’d be libertarians if they weren’t so into government breaks for big corporations. “We are responsible for our own decisions,” says a commenter, as though anyone can make a good decision without pertinent information. UGH.

Besides, this Question of the Day isn’t asking, “Is McDonald’s responsible for all heart disease, ever?” or “Should the government expand healthcare to cover people who ONLY EAT MCDONALD’S BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID POOR FATTY FAT FATS WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER?” It’s an AD CAMPAIGN. And one might think that WSJ readers, being on the whole very staunchly pro-business, would support the right of an organization to run whatever ad campaign it so chose. I suppose that when that ad campaign comes into conflict with the interests of a major international corporation, WSJ readers would rather see the big, profitable corporation continue to dominate.

Everyone’s favorite, Eater, had a bit to say in McDonald’s defense, calling the ad “a crazy new commercial” by PCRM, adding that

PCRM is known for their somewhat insane vegan agenda—back in May, they wrote a press release advising KFC to follow the same guidelines the FDA sets out for tobacco producers and not advertise near schools and put a warning label on Double Downs. In this this ad, they recommend “Tonight, make it vegetarian.”

Somewhat insane vegan agenda? Duck and cover! But then the example they give sounds very sane to me, considering another study showing how fast-food chains target children and then feed them horrible crap.

Now, if you are a vegan anything like me, you love your vegan cupcakes and vegan fried food. It’s like we always say, vegan doesn’t equal healthy. But we’re not talking about cupcakes; we’re talking about POISON. Remember Super Size Me? This stuff will kill you! And the main difference is that they don’t want to tell you. Vegansaur Jordan was just saying the other day that she will tell you in plain language that her vegan cupcakes are far from vitamin bars. And if PCRM wants you to know about the nutrition information of McDonald’s food and its ramifications on your health, what is so “unfair” about that?

*Disclosure: Our Laura has worked on contract for PCRM in the past.


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