A MORE APT TITLE for Chef Mérida Anderson could be “food artist.” The founder of the perpetually-booked dining club Vegan Secret Supper, she is also a musician, ceramist and fashion designer. It’s no wonder that she has been applying similar creativity in the kitchen, re-imagining vegan cuisine with unexpected ingredients and flavors in a visually stunning presentation. And soon, you’ll be able to recreate Mérida’s unique blend of hip and playful haute cuisine right at home— thanks to her new cookbook Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen (Arsenal Pulp Press). Out on April 1st, it includes 150 sumptuous recipes, as well as plating and pantry tips, flavor-pairing suggestions and a focus on simple, seasonal ingredients.

We covered VSS in a feature in our Premier Issue, and now Mérida shares an exclusive recipe with us from her upcoming book— a colorful and delicious dish that we had the good fortune to experience at one of her suppers. Enjoy!

Watermelon Red Pepper Gazpacho

Ingredients
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 tsp lime juice
½ red jalapeño, seeded and chopped
8 cups (2 L) cubed watermelon
In a blender, purée all ingredients. Chill thoroughly.

For garnish
ground black pepper
about ½ cup (125 mL) micro basil sprouts
about ½ cup (125 mL) micro cilantro sprouts

To plate:
Ladle a serving of soup into a bowl. Garnish with ground
pepper and 1 tsp each fresh basil and cilantro sprouts.

Tip: It’s great with yellow peppers and yellow watermelons, too!

• Makes 6–8 servings.

Photographs courtesy of Danny Rico