DIN­ING AT THE RAVENS

Over 150 Nour­ish­ing Ve­gan Recipes from the Stan­ford Inn by the Sea

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight Cooking -

Joan Stan­ford and Jeff Stan­ford, Ben­bella Books Soft­cover $19.95 (304pp), 978-1-941631-65-2

Mar­ried innkeep­ers Joan and Jeff Stan­ford grad­u­ally built a ve­gan plea­sure dome at their Cal­i­for­nia home, cre­at­ing Amer­ica’s only ve­gan resort, com­plete with or­ganic farm and restau­rant, The Ravens. The Stan­fords’ phi­los­o­phy evolved slowly since they started care­tak­ing the sea­side inn in the 1970s, chang­ing from veg­e­tar­i­an­ism to ve­g­an­ism, amidst rais­ing a fam­ily and lay­er­ing on ad­di­tional ed­i­ble landscaping and ren­o­va­tion projects. To­day, The Ravens is renowned as a fine-din­ing and eco-friendly destination, though the many imag­i­na­tive recipes that fit this high-end aes­thetic eas­ily trans­late into recipes one can make in a home kitchen.

Tucked among over 150 recipes for lux­u­ri­ously healthy baked goods, soups, ap­pe­tiz­ers, main dishes, and more are de­scrip­tions of the cou­ple’s food phi­los­o­phy, gar­den­ing ad­vice, and cook­ing tips. Recipe in­spi­ra­tion comes from var­i­ous culi­nary tra­di­tions, in­clud­ing In­dia, Latin Amer­ica, Italy, and the Amer­i­can South­west; the cook­book also shines a spot­light on some un­usual in­gre­di­ents which grow abun­dantly around their Men­do­cino coastal lo­ca­tion, in­clud­ing sea palm, minutina, hu­izon­tle, and a va­ri­ety of greens. As it comes from a resort, there are nat­u­rally a lot of recipes in the book for morn­ing meals, but this sec­tion is not full of stan­dard fare like pan­cakes and eggs, but sus­tain­ing plates of vegetable scram­bles, en­chi­ladas, chi­laquiles, and The Ravens’ best­seller, Citrus Po­lenta with Braised Gar­den Greens, slathered with Creamy Toasted Cashew Sauce.

While ve­gan cook­ing is rooted in the earth, this is a so­phis­ti­cated cook­book. All recipes are beau­ti­fully pho­tographed, with stylish and in­no­va­tive pre­sen­ta­tions. Whether it’s the ri­otously striped col­umn of color of the Salad Napoleon, or the del­i­cately browned and frag­ile Beg­gar’s Purse stuffed with mush­rooms, arugula, and tofu, cook­ing from this book prom­ises to be both a vis­ual and gus­ta­tory de­light.

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