I totally missed the ball on posting for Meatless Monday. And I haven't been a very good blogger while in Bangkok, but this cookbook is a ton of work! Our photographer arrived while I was in Vietnam, so when I returned I was full throttle back into testing and then we started the photography last week. I also sent out recipes to my testers, so it's all really happening!!
I'm so blessed to have some amazing testers and you can follow their blogs for details. Also check in on our Flickr group to see more mouth-watering photos. Kip from The Messy Vegetarian, Kristina from Spa Bettie, Sheri from Vegan Nosh, Lacey from Mon Petit Chou, Hibou, Liz from Cooking the Vegan Books, Marty from NYC Veggie Review, Jeri and David from God Dreams For Me, Jessica from The Well Plate, Colleen from Dinner Peace, and many more lovely people are testing for us. I love you all!
Testing and creating for this book has been somewhat challenging. First, all of these countries traditional foods rely heavily on animal foods. Even their vegetable side dishes are filled with meat! For this book I wanted to offer a vegan twist on traditional foods as well as creating my own recipes using the inspiration from the traditional ingredients. Since I haven't been to ALL the Southeast Asian countries I have to go off my research. And to be honest with you, I haven't felt much inspiration in general here. The markets are amazing and filled with so many exotic things, but I have a strict budget to keep; I don't have all my proper tools and my work space is not ideal; Bangkok is hot and smelly; I have only certain times of the day I can cook because cooking classes happen everyday. So yeah, there are challenges. But it's coming along 🙂
Here are some sample shots from our photographer Htet. After working on yet another photoshoot for a cookbook I realize I must purchase my own camera and do my own photography! I was quite the photographer back in the day and it was my first major in college so I'll be happy to have a high quality camera again.
Cilantro Mint Pesto Bruschetta (Vietnam)
Spicy Tomato “Chicken” (Indonesia)
If you didn't know already I'm partnering with May Kaidee, a sweet and adorable Thai vegan chef who has quite an amazing story of how she went veg and started her own business by herself. Her biz will continue to grow with her sweet partner Joe and people like me. They plan to release a number of other cookbooks, many in other languages, more restaurants including some in the states, and more cool things for Thailand. I'm excited to be working with them and I may be spending more time in Thailand! Last week I had the opportunity to interview her for Supreme Master TV. It was so much fun! I will let you know when that airs!
Here is May doing a fruit carving class. She always dresses in beautiful traditional Thai dress for her students. If you are ever in Bangkok her vegetarian cooking classes are the best in town!
Are you excited to have a new vegan Southeast Asian cookbook available to you? What kind of recipes would you like to see in it?