Confession: I have never eaten at Plum Bistro. This book, however, has me planning a weekend trip to Seattle, ASAP!
At first glance I notice the gorgeous photos, variety without overwhelming abundance, and vegetables relishing the spotlight. Upon closer inspection I learn a bit about Chef Howell's upbringing and how she came to be the supernatural force she is in the kitchen. Then we move on to a slim chapter dedicated to some of the fundamentals that accompany recipes, and jump right into what she calls "beginnings" but what you and I think of as BRUNCH. um, YEAH. Looks good! Then we've got salads & soups, small plates, tofu, tempeh & setian, transitional raw, pasta, grains and finally, desserts!
Recipes that beg to be made: Fig Crepes with Ricotta, Arugula, and Agave Balsamic, Grilled Black Plum and Jicama Salad with Radicchio, Chai-Spiced Yam Bruschetta with Crunchy Kale, Plum's Smoky Mac, Peppered Agave Figs...
Notes: the book does not contain recipes to make your own seitan, and does call for some store bought ingredients, such as pizza dough, smoked tofu and the like. My thought is that Chef Howell wants people to get in the kitchen and start making delicious plant foods. She's not the gal to teach you to make your own dough - rather she wants to wow you with her signature flavor combinations and techniques. I doubt you will be disappointed! This would be a great book for a vegan curious friend (the pictures!!), a true blue vegan who doesn't have time to make every item from scratch (ain't nothing wrong with buying pizza dough!), or that brother or friend who is mostly vegan but just needs ideas. Any bookshelf will benefit from this volume, and any belly who eats from it's pages will likely be quite pleased.