More and more people are choosing to avoid products that come from animals, and Bon Appétit chefs are committed to making sure they have satisfying choices when they dine with us. The company is fortunate to count a longtime vegan cooking expert in its ranks — one who’s willing to share his expertise!
Chef/Manager Brian McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has just published his third cookbook, The Professional Vegan Cookbook, with more than 450 vegan recipes for restaurants, cafés, weddings, home entertaining, large groups, and more. All the recipes are tested in commercial kitchens, including those at Ronler Acres in Hillsboro, OR, where Brian first joined Bon Appétit 15 years ago, and MIT in Cambridge, MA, where he is now.
Before Ronler Acres, when Brian first got into food service, he had a large tin recipe box filled with generic recipes he was required to follow. He had a store room filled with dehydrated refried beans, instant whipped potatoes, packaged gravy mixes, and other items that would never be found in a Bon Appétit kitchen. Being asked to cook from scratch was a revelation, he says, and remains one of the secrets to Bon Appétit’s success. Still, cooking vegan cuisine well does require a lot of practice and tricks, and good recipes come in handy, which is why he decided to share the ones he’s developed and tested over the years.
The Professional Vegan Cookbook contains a wide range of large-batch recipes that were mostly tested at the Ronler Acres vegetarian/vegan stations. The recipes use common commercial kitchen terms in clear, step-by-step instructions, and the ingredients are commonly found in most professional kitchens. Nearly 100 vegan baking and dessert recipes (muffins, cookies, cakes, and so on) round out the extensive list of international entrées from Asia, India, Mexico, Italy, and other flavorful destinations. Customizable core recipes also allow readers to tweak their favorites. Individual chef’s notes make the book even more user friendly, with suggestions for garnishes and sides, tips on making production easier, and information to be conscious of when purchasing for preparing vegan food.
“Bon Appétit has shown me what a chef can do if you are allowed to be creative and cook from scratch,” Brian comments.
Submitted by Brian McCarthy, Chef/Manager