Vegan: The Cookbook
Vegan: The Cookbook is a mammoth of a book. Nearly 500 recipes from over 150 different countries are featured, alongside colorful photographs with color-coded pages so you can navigate the sections more easily.
From the age of 14, Jean-Christian Jury has been connected to kitchens, cooking, and food. Though Jury took a slight detour to study electro-mechanics in college, his life after graduation found him traveling all over the world, discovering new dishes and ultimately seeking work in the hospitality industry once more. Hired by a Swiss firm, Jury spent the next 12 years developing fusion food from Southeast Asia, India, and Japan.
Like so many chefs, Jury’s eating habits became increasingly erratic and unhealthy, which, along with other factors like not enough sleep and too much time spent working, caused Jury to suffer a heart attack. That was a turning point for Jury, who decided to completely change his diet and lifestyle, turning to veganism and opening his own vegan restaurant in Berlin.
The aim of Vegan: The Cookbook is to “surprise non-vegans with delicious vegan recipes, to show that meat wasn’t necessary for a delicious and satisfying meal. When food is fresh and brimming with flavor, it will leave you feeling sated.”
Some of the recipes included in the book are:
This cookbook is no slapdash attempt to convert omnivores to a lifestyle of veganism. Instead it is a thoughtful compilation of international recipes that just happen to be meat- and dairy-free. The recipes are presented in an accessible way intended to appeal to both vegans and non-vegans alike, to show everyone how “enjoyable and nourishing this food can be. … These recipes should excite and satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores and expand your home kitchen repertoire.”
The Daily Meal: What is your philosophy of cooking (and/or eating)?
Jury: Pure, fresh, and regional. I try to eat as much raw food as possible. When aging starts to kick in, we have to help our body and immune system to keep strong, and the best way to do that is to eat as fresh and natural as possible. Processed food is the enemy of our health, and our level of energy can only remain high when indulging [in] the right food.
How did it inspire the recipes you chose to include in this book?
I travel around the planet 11 months/year, giving cooking classes and conferences about green food and plant-based food in most of the international culinary institutes. I meet a lot of chefs, for me a great source of inspiration for new recipes; I study also food history and "veganise" classics to give access to the vegan world to a new reservoir of recipes.
What is your favorite recipe in the book and why?
This is a very tricky question, how do you like me to choose in a list of almost 500 recipes originating in 150 countries? I love Japan and Japanese food, and every time I arrive in Tokyo I feel like coming home, so I will choose “spinach-shiitake salad with yuzu-wasabi dressing" — simple and delicious, packed with energy and nutrients. When I am in the USA, I replace also sometimes the spinach with fresh kale.
What are some of the foods you can’t live without?
I am a huge fan of ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemon grass, garlic, and blend of spices. To benefit from the great properties of fresh roots, I developed new cooking techniques where flavors are added after cooking, keeping ingredients and the benefit of eating the roots and spices very effective. For me there is no point of indulging dead food, we need to go away from overcooking food.
Would you rather dine out or cook at home?
I am a cook, so I like to eat at home surrounded by my tools and equipment. I love to shop early morning at the market and get a fresh source of inspiration, walking around, talking to local producers, buying the ingredients when it is "the ripe time," my new passion is to prepare a base of food and [let] my guests mix fresh spices and flavors at the table, giving them a lot of different possibilities to play around and create personalized dishes.
What is your favorite go-to meal or drink?
I love fresh smoothies and fresh juices. One of my favorite countries is Mexico; you cannot imagine how many different options are available in the so called "Juicerias." From detox to vitamin, energy, and anti-aging mixes, it is for me always a pleasure to discover new recipes based on herbs and roots that are not part of our usual list of ingredients, but for trying them, I can tell you that they are very efficient.
How do you hope readers will use this book, what do you hope they take away?
I hope the readers will get inspired and understand that plant-based food is not boring and bland. The direction food is going in the last 100 years is killing us. We absolutely need to change our diet and understand that fresh food is for us as important as the fuel for our car. No fuel, no miles, no food, no energy, the equation is simple; it is up to us to take the right steps and go back to eat quality food... Is anybody listening?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am very grateful to Phaidon for publishing a first vegan cookbook. Their decision of publishing my cookbook is encouraging for the vegan world, it shows that we are entering the mainstream. Translated also in Spanish, French, German and Dutch, Vegan: The Cookbook shows that fresh, simple, and authentic food can be part of everyday and [everyone’s] diet, going away from the boring vision most of the consumers have about plant-based food.