Last night I met up with a group of fellow Seattle Food Bloggers at Emmer & Rye restaurant in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. We were served a variety of small bites made special for us by Chef Seth Caswell. We were one of if not the first group of people to be able to enjoy the upstairs deck which they just got a permit for. I had never been to Emmer & Rye but I quickly discovered it was my kind of restaurant. They use all local ingredients and frequent farmer's markets looking for the best and freshest ingredients. Even their wines and liquors are all made by local wineries and distilleries. I've been on a pretty strict diet and was happy I was able to try almost all of the appetizers we were served. The only one I didn't try was one that had strawberries on it. I really enjoyed the ones I did have, they were all pretty tasty and I look forward to having dinner there some time.
The reason for our meeting was to chat with Michael Natkin about his new vegetarian cookbook, Herbivoracious which is also the name of his blog. This is no ordinary cookbook. It's got a hard cover and is filled with amazing photos and 150 recipes. Not every recipe has a photo to go with it but most do. In the beginning of the book he talks a bit about some ingredients and useful cooking equipment. There are 11 categories of recipes including appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches & tacos, pasta & noodles, from the stovetop, from the oven, side dishes, desserts, breakfast and sauces & condiments. There's quite the variety of dishes and ethnicities. I did notice a lot of the recipes are Asian influenced.
I've been following Michael on twitter and Facebook for a while. A few years ago when he started working on his book he asked for volunteers to test recipes and I did. I didn't know what recipe I was going to get until he sent it to me. I think it was probably one of the more challenging recipes. I made the loaded otsu noodles which I also blogged about. It was one of his Asian inspired dishes and I had to make a trip to Uwajimaya to get some of the ingredients. I enjoy cooking with new ingredients so it was fun and tasty too. I'm looking forward to trying more of the recipes in this cookbook.
Special thanks to Keren Brown for organizing and Emmer & Rye for hosting us. I've got additional photos over on Flickr.
Author: Paula Thomas