I recently had the gratifying honor of cooking with bright-eyed lifestyle personality Kathy Patalsky at the inaugural Dole Foods California Cook-Off this past June. As a team, I was sous chef to Patalsky’s recipe and direction. In the process however, I made a friend. An established blogger and entrepreneur, NYC-based Patalsky is the founding, creative spirit behind growing website and healthy living force The Lunchbox Bunch. Haven’t heard of it yet? You will.
With a blog streaming of vegan-friendly recipes, healthful living tips and gravitating photography⎯she can make tofu look like a porterhouse⎯Patalsky has managed to parlay her love of a satisfying, responsible and meat-free existence into a flourishing brand. From self-published books to themed merchandise available for sale on her website, she is clearly creating something impressive.
Loosely inspired by the popular last-page “Feedback” questionnaire inside every Bon Appetit issue, where simple food-related questions are posed to various tastemakers, Food Noise will be a new regular feature on my blog intended to shed extra light on the foodly inclinations of interesting people we all should know more about. Patalsky, you get inaugural dibs:
1. How long have you been vegan?
For about 7 years. Although, I’ve been an on/off vegetarian since my teenage years.
2. What’s one of your favorite dishes to make at home?
Mashed sweet potatoes, lemon pepper tempeh and a giant multi-ingredient salad filled with fresh farmer’s market produce.
3. Alcoholic or otherwise, what’s your drink of choice?
Coconut water⎯preferably O.N.E. brand, or straight from a whole coconut. I’m obsessed.
4. What has been one of your most memorable meals to date?
Both meals I’ve had at Dirt Candy here in NYC were amazing and life-changing. Chef Amanda Cohen is a truely innovative vegetarian chef⎯I’d take even the most die-hard meat eater to her little East Village gem of a restaurant. I also adore Pure Food and Wine, and Blossom here in NYC. I even had an unforgettable vegan meal at Le Bernardin here as well⎯yes vegans can easily dine almost anywhere⎯if they know how.
5. What are some of your favorite local restaurants right now? (New York City, NY)
See above. I also have a full list on my blog HERE.
6. What would some people be surprised to find in your kitchen?
Diet Soda. Sometimes I crave a sip of that unhealthy fake-sugar fizzy stuff! I also have frozen fish in my freezer (for my husband of course).
7. Name four things that you always like to keep in your refrigerator or pantry?
Maple Syrup grade B, coconut water, fresh papaya (my breakfast addiction), Vegenaise (because it can make just about anything taste better!), and if I could add one more item I’d say a wide variety of raw nuts/beans!
8. What would you consider to be a perfect snack?
A really fresh and moist fruit muffin⎯maybe raspberry or blueberry flavored. You know the kind where the fruit literally melts into the soft muffin flesh. A really good vegan muffin is hard to find.
9. What are some of your favorite comfort foods?
Mashed sweet potatoes, vegan mac ‘n cheese, vegan lasagna, a hearty bean and mushroom stew made with spicy Field Roast sausages sliced in, and Mexican food⎯you can always warm my heart with a big bowl of guacamole.
10. What’s for dinner tonight?
Good question! I’ve been craving a spicy pasta night⎯whole wheat penne, fresh spicy marinara blended with harissa spread, Daiya cheese melted on top, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts tossed in, fresh basil, capers and a handful of spicy vegan sausages. Some amazing Amy’s Bread on the side. Maybe a nice glass of pinot noir and, of course, a giant big fresh salad on the side. I have a different big yummy salad every night at dinner.
And there you have it folks, Kathy Patalsky.
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