“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.” – Anthony Bourdain, “Kitchen Confidential,” p. 70
Tell us how you really feel, Anthony!
Of course, vegetarians and vegan chefs were not about to take this crude, carnivorous cri de coeur lying down, and thus was born Hezbollah Tofu, a blog where vegan chefs are systematically veganizing chef Bourdain’s most celebrated recipes. They plan on selling the resulting compilation, and donating the proceeds to vegan causes (farm sanctuaries, public education, etc) in Bordain’s name. Take that, Anthony!
This topic brings up a whole host of questions for me, as a Jew and as a self-professed foodie who also strives to eat sustainably (although not regularly animal-product free):
-How offended should we be by either side appropriating Hezbollah as a rallying cry? Is this just one step above “food Nazis,” or is it more permissible? What if A.B. had called vegans “Al Qaeda?” “Hamas?”
-Is veganizing meat recipes really the best way to honor the plethora of meat-free choices available to us, via CSA’s farmers’ markets, and other fresh produce? Or, as one of the commenters on Metafilter, where I originally saw this post put it, “Sorbet is great. Tofutti sucks. Pasta with morels and olive oil is great. Spaghetti and mockballs are nasty. Tofu baked in peanut sauce is good. Tofu shaped like a weenie and stuffed in a bun is gross.”
-What about fake treif? Why does Jackie Mason (as stand-in for the observant Jewish world) care if I eat a mock-cheeseburger?
Tournedos d’Seitan with Poached Figs by Vegan Menu.
Pasta with Morel and Asparagus Cream Sauce by Pro Bono Baker.