Thursday, July 17, 2014

ISSUE FOUR HAS ARRIVED!

Emily Deschanel LAIKA Magazine cover

WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THE ARRIVAL OF OUR FOURTH ISSUE! This, “The Future Issue” is dedicated to the people, innovations, and activism that is propelling our society into a better tomorrow — today. Gracing the cover is the stunning Emily Deschanel — the talented and versatile star of the hit show Bones, a passionate animal advocate, and a vegan of over two decades. The captivating and humble actress opens up to LAIKA in an exclusive and inspiring profile, giving us an inside look into her life, taking us behind the scenes of Bones, shedding light on her craft, and sharing how she channels her creativity to make a positive impact on everyone around her.

Emily Deschanel vegan

We bring together personal insights from some of veganism’s brightest minds in a first-of-its kind feature, “The Futurists,” which includes the likes of Sam Simon, Russell Simmons and Jill Robinson. With equal attention and dignity we give to our human subjects, we tell the stories of animals – tackling difficult topics head on. Like the 12 page photo essay “The Will To Live,” which through resonating photography and personal accounts from devoted activists, explores the depth of animal sentience – and advances us to a better understanding. We spend time at home with the iconic Esther The Wonder Pig, who has become an ambassador for her kind, in “Moment.” We celebrate the bounty of our planet with delicious, colorful dishes in “Mexican Feast,” and beautiful fruits and vegetables in “Taste Notes.”

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Lauren Toyota

We profile bold vegan female entrepreneurs in “She’s The Boss,” and turn the mic on rising star and MTV Canada host Lauren Toyota who is raising her voice for animals in the media. We get to know leading chef Bryant Terry closer, and find out what makes his brand of vegan cuisine at once a throwback to simpler times and an exciting glimpse into the future. As usual, we have vibrant travel stories, like an in-depth food tour of Paris, with a spotlight on local cutting-edge activism.

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We bring you brilliant essays, like the provocative “Animating Journalism” from James McWilliams and Vickery Eckhoff. And of course, we showcase innovative vegan beauty and fashion— all gorgeously photographed by some of today’s top talent.

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Each page asserts the breadth and timeliness of the vegan and animal rights movement, and celebrates the forward-thinkers who are setting the pace. With every story, we reinforce the LAIKA credo: that one can live a fulfilling life without ever harming another. It is a joy and honor to have you, dear reader, along for this ride! We are so excited to share our Fourth Issue with you. Subscribe and get your copy HERE!

Cover and Isn’t She Lovely feature photographed by Andrew Stiles • Cover story written by Stacy Gueraseva She’s The Boss photographed by Balarama Heller Living Loud photographed by Joel Barhamand Will To Live photographed by Mike Hrinewski The Futurists illustrated by Sophie Lucido Johnson Mexican Feast photographed by Edgar Molina

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE ART OF PLATING

CONSIDERING THAT WE EAT FIRST WITH OUR EYES, how our food is presented on the plate- from the color, to the geometry, to the textures, becomes of great significance. In the “Edible Art” feature in our new issue, Chef Greg Arnold treats the plate as a canvas on which he creates visually arresting compositions using imaginative vegan ingredients. For Arnold, who will open Santa Barbara, CA’s first farm-to-table modern vegan restaurant MESAVERDE in early spring 2014, “cooking has been another extension of the same creative impulses I’ve had my entire life. It’s a different set of senses that get stimulated, but it’s the same intention,” he says. A painter since the age of four, he spent years touring and making music as a guitar player in Los Angeles. “The Art of Plating” video he made for us encapsulates his creative spirit- he not only created the dishes, but filmed, edited, and scored the video itself.

All of the produce he used was locally sourced from the farmer’s market. The end result are dishes with components like pimenton clementine marinara, braised garbanzo, leek jus, dill oil, and nasturtium (a type of edible flower). Arnold’s food is of course much more than just a pretty plate. He has paid his dues at some of Los Angeles’ favorite restaurants – as the head chef and creator of Sage Bistro in Echo Park, and in the kitchens of Flore, Lifefood Organic, and Mooi, just to name a few. Over the years, the arts have continuously informed his cooking style. Some of his favorite painters include Anselm Kiefer, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg. And he is inspired by “a lot of experimental looseness from bands like Can, The Grateful Dead, Tangerine Dream, Autechre.” When it comes to food, he says the seasons are his muse. “Waiting for certain ingredients to arrive and pairing them with other vegetables in the peak of their season, knowing they will only be around for a short time each year – really makes you appreciate them to their fullest.”

See the six page “Edible Art” feature by getting our new issue, available in print or digital. And follow Greg Arnold on instagram or his site.

THERE IS NO EXACT RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. But Jason Wrobel, who graces the cover of our new issue along with Whitney Lauritsen, seems to have a pretty reliable one for a life well lived. “Keep trusting in your dreams and your unique vision for your life,” the star of the world’s first primetime cooking series How to Live to 100 told us when we spoke to him recently. “So many people told me for years that it “couldn’t be done” or that they “already tried and were told no” – but honestly, I didn’t listen.” It is lucky for us, and the rest of the world, that he didn’t. We will get to relish his trademark blend of virtuoso cooking skills, hilarity, and encyclopedic nutritional knowledge every Friday at 6pm PST/9pm EST on Cooking Channel- starting with tonight’s premiere episode, “Goin’ Back to Cauli.” And to whet our appetite, Jason shares his recipe for Vegan Caesar Salad, and more food for thought in our exclusive chat, immediately following the recipe.

VEGAN CAESAR SALAD WITH WILD CAPERS & HEMP SEEDS

For the dressing:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ to 1/3 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 ¼ teaspoons Dijon or spicy mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ tablespoon ground chia seeds
3 gloves fresh garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese, grated

For the salad:
4 to 6 small heads of romaine lettuce (preferably baby romaine)
½ cup wild or organic capers
¼ cup raw hemp seeds
¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup dulse flakes or shredded nori sheets (optional)
Sprinkle of ground black pepper

To make the salad dressing, add all ingredients to a blender and process on high speed for 20-30 seconds until very smooth and creamy. If need be, add a slight amount of additional lemon juice or water to thin to your desired consistency. Set aside.

Wash the heads of romaine lettuce and dry with a kitchen towel (do not break apart the individual leaves – leave the heads fully composed). Cut off the hard base of the stems and make a small, lengthwise base cut on the underside of the lettuce heads so that they can lay flat on a plate without rolling or tipping over. Liberally drizzle the dressing over the top of each romaine head and top with capers, hemp seeds, vegan parmesan cheese, dulse flakes and ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time:  15 minutes

Cook’s Note: If you cannot find vegan parmesan in your area, you can order online from a brand like Parmela, or substitute a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Give us a little taste of the creative process behind “How to Live to 100.”
For 4 broadcast episodes and 6 webisodes, it’s a three week shoot. The creative process is very interesting and challenging. Since the format of the series features a “hero” ingredient in each episode, my mission is to construct delicious and easy recipes that showcase that specific ingredient. Recipe development can be intense, really fun and, at times, frustrating. Don’t even get me started on how much I filled the compost bin with “Cauliflower Rice Pudding” or “Cauliflower Flan”. Needless to say, I stuck with only savory recipes for episode one, “Goin’ back to Cauli”. I shall one day unlock the power of cauliflower for desserts!

It can’t be easy landing a primetime TV show. How on earth did you do it?
Honestly, it was a magical combination of being prepared for the opportunity and being in the right place at the right time. I think that interest, demand and acceptance for this style of cuisine is at an all-time high. So many variables lined up in perfect formation to make this happen. I kept making my food my way and putting myself out into the world via YouTube, social media and live speaking appearances. I always knew in my heart that I would host a TV show. It’s always been my dream – even as a little boy. Well, that was after I abandoned the idea of being an archaeologist. Indiana Jones was the man! Seriously though, I think my approach to landing a TV series can be best elucidated by Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Great quote. Let’s pretend I’m Paula from Alabama and I don’t know a lick about vegan cuisine. How would you persuade me to watch your show?
I’d tell Paula she doesn’t have to give up any of the taste, texture, flavor or amazing mouth feel of the food she’s used to. You want spicy, crispy, meaty Buffalo Wings, mama? We’ve got buckets-full. You want al dente Pasta Primavera? Italian grandmas have me on speed dial, yo. Oh, and creamy Coconut Cream Pie? It’s like a Caribbean vacation for your mouth. The intention of my recipes on the show is to recreate familiar, comfort-food dishes that people know and love with healthy ingredients and superfoods. That way, people are still enjoying the heck out of their food while leaving out all the excess fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Everyone wins, and Paula’s family stays happy, healthy and satisfied.

Ok, now let’s say Paula watches your show and decides to go vegan. What’s your advice for the “newbie vegan?”
My big piece of advice is to start with doing your research. I would suggest downloading a ton of amazing vegan recipes online for free or buying a few well-reviewed cookbooks. Then get educated on the nutritional requirements of a vegan lifestyle – you can get all the protein, amino acids, magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamins B12, D3, K2, etc. your body needs from plant-based foods exclusively. But you need to know WHICH foods to eat and WHEN to eat them to have balanced, optimal nutrition. Lastly, buy three pieces of essential equipment to make your life in the kitchen easier: a high-speed blender, a really good chef’s knife and a quality cutting board. As far as delicacies, my favorite food category right now is non-dairy cheese. There are INSANELY delicious brands of cheese on the market from brands like Daiya, Treeline, Kite Hill, Punk Rawk Labs… honestly the list is freakin’ huge now! We are reaching a new level of amazingness- from product innovation to consumer demand – for non-dairy and vegan products. It’s an exciting time to live this lifestyle and hearing things like “I really wish they made a vegan version of… (fill in the blank)” doesn’t exist anymore.

A vegan cheese-themed viewing party of How to Live to 100 would be just the thing. Speaking of your show, any funny or triumphant anecdotes you can share?
Two moments come to mind. The first was doing the “Goin’ Back to Cauli” episode where I was making Cauliflower Lentil Tacos and Guacamole in the kitchen. After we wrap our kitchen segments, the crew usually eats the finished recipes from the set. So, all these really masculine dudes from Atlanta (who are the brilliant lighting crew) are chowing down on the tacos and just beside themselves with astonishment over the taste. In fact, a few of the guys asked me for the recipe and their wives made it for them AGAIN for dinner that same night! That’s what I call a win. The second moment was making the Strawberry Tomato Crepes for the “Attack of the Scrumptious Tomato” episode. Crepes are notoriously finicky for sticking to the crepe pan (especially the first one or two crepes out of the pan). So, the batter was looking good and I was feeling pretty confident, so I decided to improvise and go for a big flip – having NEVER flipped a crepe in mid-air before. I’ll let you watch the episode and see how that one turned out.

Interview by Julie Gueraseva / Photo courtesy of Jason Wrobel 

Tune in tonight, January 3rd at 6pm PST/9pm EST for the season premiere of How to Live to 100. Use the hashtag #howtoliveto100 to talk about the show on your favorite social media sites.

Pick up a copy of our brand new Issue Three to read our in-depth feature on Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen on page 60.