I am beyond thrilled to bring you Save the Kales! first ever author interview! Tamasin Noyes is the author of the previously mentioned cookbook “Vegan Road Food: Delicious Comfort Food from Blue Plate Specials to Homestyle Favorites”. Tami, sweetheart that she is, agreed to talk to us about her awesome recipes, her inspiration, and navigating her path to getting published.
READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW UNDER THE CUT!
Here’s a photo of the Spicy Balsamic Maple Wingz. My stomach is literally growling.
How did you get into the process of writing a book? What inspired the idea? What inspired the topic?
Although I’d always liked cooking, I didn’t start writing my recipes down until about 6 years ago when I went exclusively vegan. Growing up, my mom wasn’t a fancy cook, so it was natural that my recipes were more home–style and comfort foody. That tendency, combined with some wonderful luck in eating in mom-and-pop places that offered vegan dishes, all came together to bring about the book.
Are the recipes from real diners? How did you come up with the recipes in the book?
I think the book only specifically mentions the Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont, and Strong Hearts Cafe in Syracuse, NY which is exclusively vegan. Both of those are places I love and visit every chance I get. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a shake from Strong Hearts! As for the regions that inspired the recipes, I have taken a few trips to the South and West, but none since being vegan. (I’ve been vegetarian with stretches of veganism since 1980.) Nonetheless, the spirit of the regional cuisines did a lot to inspire my creation of these recipes. The U.S. is so diverse with so many fascinating flavor influences. With a little research, the inspiration is everywhere.
Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
Many! Every day, it seems like it’s something different. I tend to be a big flavor cook and I like big taste profiles, so most of the recipes hit that spot for me. If I had to pick just a few, the Incrediburgers, the Sweet Garlicky Ribz, the Deli Potato Salad, the Seitan Katsu and the Crispy Bottom Peanut Butter Pie all rank really high. Oh, and the sandwiches
What has been the response from the public?
The public has been very supportive and the book has gotten a lot of interest from vegans who also happen to cook for omnivores. The dishes have a broad appeal and keep everyone happy. There’s also been a lot of online support, such as Vegan.com.
The book is available at Amazon and I’d love to see it in more of the independent bookstores. If you don’t see it at your local bookstore (or library), please ask.
Did you have a hard time getting published? What is/was your relationship with your publisher?
I’ve been fortunate to be a recipe tester for several talented cookbook authors, such as Celine Steen (500 Vegan Recipes), Dynise Balcavage (The Urban Vegan), Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Vegan with a Vengeance and others), Terry Romero (Viva Vegan and others with Isa) and Robin Robertson (1000 Vegan Recipes and others). All along, I’ve kept a blog.
As it turns out, Robin’s husband, Jon Robertson, has a publishing company called Vegan Heritage Press and my blog came to his attention. When I was contacted by VHP and asked if I’d be interested in writing a cookbook, I jumped at the chance. The publisher has been very supportive and encouraged me to follow my own instincts in recipes. In addition, thanks to the efforts of VHP, the book is well-organized and looks absolutely stunning. Also, we have similar philosophies about veganism, so it’s a great fit.
As an aside, I’ve never told this story to anyone, even the publisher! A few days before I got the email from VHP to see if I’d be interested, my husband, Jim, and I were eating in a Chinese restaurant. The fortune in my cookie said “You will get unseen help in achieving a goal.” Jokingly, I said, “Hey, maybe I’m going to get a cookbook offer!” Later that week, I did and I didn’t see it coming.
Tell us a little more about you! Your background, family life, hometown, your favorite way to spend a day off…
I grew up in a very “meat and potatoes” family here in Northeast Ohio. I am the youngest of 3 kids and my dad traveled for work. As a result, he ate out a lot. So when he was home, he preferred eating at home. We never went to restaurants or fast food places. In fact, the nearest pizza place was about 20 minutes away and I can still remember the first time I had pizza! Then, when I went to college, I went vegetarian and also met Jim, who became my best friend and husband.
Over the years, I’ve done a few different things for work: restaurants (of course!), painting vacant apartments, working in a bookstore, working in a library, creating and running a non-profit, being a bank teller, and just recently, I closed my handmade soap business after 10 years.
It seems I’ve had a lot of different life times packed into 1 life. Now I’m currently in limbo and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. When I’m not cooking, I’m an avid reader (love historical fiction!), Scrabble, bike riding, going for walks and gardening.
One thing I’d like to mention is that writing this book has really enriched my life. Not only was it good for self-discipline, but I’ve also been lucky in making some new friends. The testers put a lot into it and it has been such a pleasure getting to know them better. I’d also like to thank all those who came before me and really paved the way for veganism to be coming it’s own as it is now.
I like to say that ‘vegan is the new vegetarian’. We’re no longer fringe, and much of the thanks for that shifting image goes to the pioneers of veganism.
Please head over to Amazon.com right now and order a copy for yourself, an ten more for friends!http://www.amazon.com/American-Vegan-Kitchen-Tamasin-Noyes/dp/0980013119/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270049215&sr=8-1
- American Vegan Kitchen
- by Tamasin Noyes
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the cookbook, don’t despair! Tami writes an incredible vegan blog, Vegan Appetite, on which she posts mouthwatering recipes (photos included!), contest giveaways, and personal insight. Beyond all of this, she is an absolutely lovely person, and I’m honored to have met her.
Check out the blog here: http://www.veganappetite.com/