Finally, a column dedicated to vegetarian cooking has been introduced in the San Francisco Chronicle. Not to belabor the point, but I am especially pleased by this addition to the Food section as I’ve oft longed for writers to focus solely on the vegetarian entree.
However, I am not particularly fond of the column’s title — “The Accidental Vegetarian” — nor am I charmed by the statement that the writer “loves meat but believes that when done well, vegetarian dishes can be just as exciting and interesting.” This new endeavor, I fear, is geared toward the reluctant vegetable-eater rather than toward those who have already pursued their vegetal passions with lusty abandon. Rather than enticing hard-core meat eaters with luscious — and unapologetic — descriptions of meals loaded with fresh, local produce, I worry that once again we will be reading a plea for how to learn to love the vegetable.
Still, this paragraph gives me hope:
“I’ve culled ideas from those years, and the recipes in this column will reflect the seasons, Bay Area produce and a penchant for whole grains and natural foods. I’ll delve into beans under pressure, fancy dinner party fare, raw food for hot summer days and even follow a vegan diet for a month. I’ll watch for trends, scour restaurant menus and keep up the dialogue with chefs and farmers.”
Vegan recipes in a major newspaper? That will be something indeed — but it is the Bay Area, after all.