Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Lusty Vegan Culinary Art Installation at Suite ThreeOhSix in Manhattan. “What is The Lusty Vegan Culinary Art Installation?” you ask. Well, it’s a food and art exhibit from The Lusty Vegan authors Ayindé Howell and Zoë Eisenberg that feature photography, recipes from the book cooked by Chef Ayindé himself, and talks from the authors about food and dating.
I do consulting work for Vegan Heritage Press, The Lusty Vegan‘s publisher. I worked on the book, and I’ve had many email conversations with Ayindé and Zoë, so it was really nice to finally meet them in person. They spoke between the meal’s courses, telling stories about the food and the trials and tribulations of dating non-vegans. I have to admit that I felt really lucky to have my vegan guy in tow.
The first course was Ayindé’s famous Mac and Yease, which was a surprise, because it wasn’t on the menu. (Although I did see a friend post a photo of it on Instagram the night before, so I kind of had a feeling we’d be treated to a taste of it.) This is by far the best vegan mac and cheese on the planet. I’ve only had it once before – about 4 years ago at the first NYC Vegetarian Food Festival – and I’m kind of sad that I don’t know when I’ll have it again. The recipe is a closely guarded secret.
After the salad came a Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cake. I’ve never eaten crab or a crab cake, so I didn’t know what to expect from this dish. I was told that there was an omnivore at the previous evening’s pop-up who said it tasted just like “the real thing”. Even as a meat eater, I was never a fan of seafood and the fishy flavor that came with it, so I was slightly skeptical, but this little appetizer was AMAZING. If I had just been presented with a plate of Mac & Yease and Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes, I would have been totally happy all evening.
The main course was Fillet de Soy. That little piece of tofu did indeed look a little meaty, but the “meat” look to it came from the delicious Red Wine & Citrus Butter Sauce. I know that if I try to make this tasty dish at home it will pale in comparison to the way it tasted at the pop-up dinner.