Friday, September 5, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BRYANT TERRY

“THERE’S MORE OF A DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY AS VEGAN, whether it’s for animal rights reasons or environmental reasons, or for health reasons, or all three,” Chef Bryant Terry explained in our candid profile on him in our Fourth Issue. Terry has had his finger on the pulse of contemporary vegan cuisine for nearly a decade. As the author of four cookbooks—his latest, the best-selling Afro-Vegan—he has been thoughtfully manifesting his mission to connect all people, particularly those from underserved communities, with healthy vegan foods, and the cultural history behind them. During our photo shoot in New York City for our story “The People’s Chef,” Terry was a bundle of energy and creativity, despite having been on a non-stop touring schedule in support of his book. During the shoot at his alma mater Natural Gourmet Institute (which turned into a reunion of sorts for him), he prepared one of his signature dishes, the Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad–for which he shares the recipe with us here. And in our exclusive behind the scenes video from the shoot, Terry shares more words of wisdom.

 

Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

Salad

1 cup wheat berries

3 cups boiling water

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick

1-1⁄4 teaspoons coarse sea salt

3 carrots (about 8 ounces total), diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces

1 heaping cup thinly sliced dried apricots

6 tablespoons packed minced cilantro

1⁄2 cup almonds, blanched, toasted, and chopped

 

Dressing

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground white pepper

 

To make the salad, put the wheat berries in a medium saucepan. Pour in the boiling water, cover, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Add the cinnamon stick and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender but chewy, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let sit with the lid on for 15 minutes. Drain if necessary and remove the cinnamon stick.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium bowl of ice water. Put about 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, then add the carrots and cook uncovered until fork-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well, then immediately plunge the carrots into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the wheat berries, apricots, cilantro, and almonds and mix well.

To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon in a blender. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil and process until creamy.

To serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well with clean hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature. Season with white pepper to taste just before serving.

 

Blanching Almonds:

Put the almonds in a heatproof bowl and pour in boiling water to cover. After 1 minute, drain the almonds in a colander, then rinse them with cold water. Drain well, transfer to a clean kitchen towel, and pat dry. Use your fingers to slip off the skins.

 

Toasting Nuts and Seeds:

Toasted nuts and seeds add texture, unique flavors, and protein to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. To bring out their natural oil and enhance their taste, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until fragrant, about 4 minutes; or toast on a baking sheet in an oven at 325°F for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan a few times for even cooking. Nuts and seeds contain oils that will go rancid, so store them in a freezer.

 

Video by Alex Gaylon of Karmalize Productions.

Pick up our Fourth Issue to read the full story “The People’s Chef” by Elizabeth Castoria with exclusive photography by Balarama Heller.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.

Emily-Deschanel

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 into making 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.”

Morgan Bogle

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.

3_2

5_2

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.

6_3

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.