Show 194, October 22, 2016: Tal Ronnen, Chef/Proprietor, Crossroads, Los Angeles

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, a classically trained chef and New York Times bestselling cookbook author, is redefining the concept of contemporary vegan cooking by concentrating on what makes food enjoyable in the first place. His new cookbook, Crossroads – Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine, is inspired by his cooking at his stylish Los Angeles restaurant of the same name.

In the cookbook Chef Tal reveals his sophisticated and satisfying new approach in 100 Mediterranean-inspired recipes that are an indispensable resource for mindful eaters. “This is the first vegan cookbook with recipes you’ll want to serve at a dinner party.”

Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, the menu is vegan, but there are no soybeans or bland seitan to be found. He and his executive chef, Scot Jones, turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare—think warm bowls of tomato-sauced pappardelle, plates of spicy carrot salad, and crunchy flatbreads piled high with roasted vegetables.

In Crossroads, an IACP Cookbook Award finalist, Ronnen teaches readers to make his recipes and proves that the flavors we crave are easily replicated in dishes made without animal products. With accessible, unfussy recipes, Crossroads takes plant-based eating firmly out of the realm of hippie health food and into a cuisine that fits perfectly with today’s modern palate.

The recipes are photographed in sumptuous detail, and with more than 100 of them for weeknight dinners, snacks and appetizers, special occasion meals, desserts, and more, this book is an indispensable resource for healthy, mindful eaters everywhere.

We’ll meet Chef Tal Ronnen.

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Show 194, October 22, 2016: Tal Ronnen, Chef/Proprietor, Crossroads, Los Angeles Continues…

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenTal Ronnen, a classically trained chef and New York Times bestselling cookbook author, is redefining the concept of contemporary vegan cooking by concentrating on what makes food enjoyable in the first place. His new cookbook, Crossroads – Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine, is inspired by his cooking at his stylish Los Angeles restaurant of the same name.

As Ronnen writes in the book’s introduction, “As a lover of food, what I really crave is the smoky paprika and fat in chorizo, not the pork itself; the smoky char of grilled steak, not the actual beef. The challenge in vegan cooking lies in not cheapening the food by making it feel like it’s a knockoff of itself or a shadow of the original, but rather in making vegetables shine in their own right while still satisfying those cravings. By refocusing in what makes food rich and pleasurable to begin with, I realized I could create plant-based dishes that appeal to everyone, not just vegans.”

We also chat about the Impossible Burger served at lunch. It looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows but it’s made entirely from plants and has a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals.

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Show 190, September 24, 2016: Owner/Chef Marcel Vigneron, Wolf & Beefsteak

Marcel VigneronAt 25, Chef Marcel Vigneron competed on the memorable Season 2 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and, impressively, was the Runner-Up. He now has two side-by-side restaurants on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, Wolf (Seasonal LA Cuisine) and the plant-based, Beefsteak. We’ll meet him.

“At WOLF, we are influenced by fresh local ingredients and the farmers that grow them. We pay tribute to the food by preparing it with care, using every edible part from flower to root and nose to tail. Our inspiration stems from the variety of cultures that make up our city, from Thai Town to Taco Trucks. Our goal is to combine these traditional flavors into something uniquely Los Angeles. Come in and experience food and service that are precise, but never pretentious. Join Marcel and his team to take your place in the Wolfpack.”

“At Beefsteak, we strive to bring the best produce and local ingredients to our guests in a casual environment that serves fresh and seasonal California cuisine. We aim to source everything from socially conscious purveyors that will in turn be used in dishes that are not only healthy, but also intended to be super tasty, and ecologically responsible. We value the intimate connection between our food, our farms, our planet and our health and aim to be sustainable in all of our practices. We support our community through partnerships with local vendors and producers.”

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Show 32, June 22, 2013: Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in West Hollywood

Tal Ronnen of Crossroads KitchenChef Tal is the soft-spoken culinary force behind the elegant, Crossroads, in West Hollywood. This is white tablecloth, plant-based fare featuring Mediterranean-influenced small plates.

Chef Tal has cooked for very discriminating celebrities including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres.

Tal stays away from the politics. If his food is not satisfying to all then he feels he has failed. His mantra is simply to suggest trying a little plant based fare (which is properly prepared) as an addition to your present diet.

Tal Ronnen’s reputation is such that a few years ago when “difficult to please” Las Vegas casino hotel mogul Steve Wynn wanted vegetarian dishes added to all his restaurant menus at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Tal was engaged to accomplish this working with superstar celebrity chefs. When the project was done not only was Mr. Wynn pleased but Chef Tal became friends with all the high-profile chefs he worked with at Wynn and they continue to stay in touch.

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