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Meet Vegan Mashup’s Miyoko Schinner, Chef & Vegan Fromager

Miyoko cooking Paella2

Miyoko Schinner is the author of three cookbooks, including the recent bestseller Artisan Vegan Cheese, The Now and Zen Epicure, and Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional. A regular at popular food festivals across the country, Miyoko is also an instructor in the McDougall Program. She’s been featured on NPR’s Marketplace and ABC World News Tonight, and in the New York Post and Washington Post.

Who was the last person to cook for you?
My daughter, Cammy, who often makes me smoothies, salads, and other healthy goodies/ Just the other night she made dinner for us all, a couple of different kinds of pizza, a grilled ratatouille, and other delights. Otherwise, I have to strain to remember. I’ve been to lots of events where there has been food that I didn’t cook, but expressly cooking for me? Wow. That’s kind of hard. I am constantly begging people to cook for me. I am VERY easy to please. Please invite me to dinner. I want to come.

What cookbook are you most looking forward to coming out soon, excluding your own?
There are so many – Colleen is coming out with a new one, as is Farm Sanctuary. Jill Nussinow is redoing her pressure cooking book, as well as a collection from various chefs (including moi), and Julie Hasson’s casserole book seems like a total throw-back that’s fun and unique…it’s hard to keep up!

What do you want people to get from your new cookbook?
My next cookbook will be coming out in spring of 2015 – The Homemade Vegan Pantry – The Art of Making Your Own Staples. I think the title pretty much sums it up. I want to liberate people in their kitchens to learn to make things from scratch, and lessen their reliance on packaged goods. The book will feature many things you’d normally buy, such as vegan butter, meat substitutes, cake mixes, etc., but will also have things that you can’t normally buy, such as vegan meringue, vegan condensed milk, and vegan oyster sauce. It also provides tips for making life a bit easier by cooking certain things in quantity so that they’re always available for a quick meal (like a baking mix that can be used to make “from scratch” cakes, biscuits, pancakes, etc.).

Are you already working on your next cookbook? Can you tell us anything about it?
Right now, my plate is full – of cheese! The cheese company is 24/7, and so I am not currently working on another book, except to go over edits for my upcoming one.

What 2014 VegFests or events can people come say Hi to you at?
I’ll be at Summerfest, and the Hoe Down at Farm Sanctuary in New York. It’s great when a group of people come together and work hard to pull off a mighty thing like this!

I’ll be on the vegan cruise in October, and a few other local events in California.

What’s REALLY exciting you in vegandom right NOW?
Simply that the awareness is growing at exponential rates. Wherever I go, people ask me about it, indicating an openness to it. All the exciting new movies on the subject, including Cowspiracy, help to drive the point home in entertaining ways that doesn’t scare people. Love it!

What Spring garden goodie are you anticipating most?
Summer now – tomatoes from my garden. I am religious about them.

What food/ie trend has captured your attention?
Well, it seems like everyone is now starting a vegan cheese company!

Where is your favorite vegan appetizer from?
You mean a restaurant or book or person? Honestly, I don’t have a favorite appetizer – I’m one of those people that likes so many things that it’s hard to choose a favorite anything. It all depends on the circumstances and the mood.

Would you rather be taken to vegan lunch at a taco OR noodle bar?
Noodle bar. I’m Asian.

See more of Miyoko on Vegan Mashup‘s first AND second seasons.