In Search Of The Lost Taste

In Search Of The Lost Taste

by Joshua Ploeg

Joshua Ploeg's cooking blows my mind so much that a secret door opens in the back of my head and white doves, musical notes, and winged horses fly out. His cooking is transcendent: Dangerous, strange and perfect. It¹s full of colorful tastes that explode in your mouth like Pop Rocks ­flavor combinations you never thought possible. Crazy alchemy. Freaky magic. Joshua's the Traveling Chef; you make an appointment, he shows up at your house with a load of groceries, makes an incredible multi-course vegan meal using your pots and pans, and then he's gone like the Lone Ranger riding into a big Texas sunset. Joshua's been in a bunch of hardcore bands and he brings all the good things punk rock gave us: risk, passion, creativity, and weirdness; then he applies them to his meals. I randomly lucked into one of his dinners last year. I usually eat really fast and mindlessly, but I had to take this one slow and let all the flavors develop and do their respective stuff. Each had its own distinctive note ­ its own voice that rang out to let it be known that it was something special and unique. It was an experience in the finest sense of the word.

 
 

Comments

kitsch & kitchen 11/23/2010

" ... he put out a little gem of a cookbook a few years ago entitled In Search of the Lost Taste. It’s a whole $8, so just STFU and get a copy. It has tastes I would never think to put together, but I’m glad he did. From sweet to savory, sometimes using local fresh ingredients, sometimes using tofutti cream cheese, and always using what’s on hand (although you might not have it on hand…) it’s one of the most diverse little cookbooks out there. Plus he cooks the way I do, which is to say “if you’ve got some extra XYZ, you should just go ahead and throw that in there…” Like I said, it’s a little gem."

Sacramento News and Review 8/29/2010

"There’s no shame in getting a little creative, cruelty-free cooking help. Sac’s own traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg published a vegan cookbook/comic book last year called In Search of the Lost Taste. The instructions are written without pretentiousness, and his combination of flavors are unexpected, even a bit exotic. He includes animal-product-free recipes for cocktails, tea, shakes, sorbets, appetizers and entrees for the experimental gourmand, including Deep Fried Blueberry “Steak” Balls, if you have the balls to try it. "

Midwest Book Review 8/1/2010

"Some people make simple, filling meals. Others treat cooking like one big science experiment, and there are those who are more successful than others. "In Search of the Lost Taste" is a vegan cookbook from Joshua Ploeg, a man who takes a fresh and exciting approach to vegan cooking, doing everything from simulated fried food to Miso Marys. With a strange, surreal story alongside the recipes, "In Search of the Lost Taste" is a cookbook experimental chefs will love."

Print Fetish 1/30/2010

"This slim volume is full of well-crafted recipes for interesting fare such as lavender soda and soup in a pumpkin. It will remind any of us, not just vegans, to look beyond the basics and have some fun in the kitchen."

The Veg Blog 1/30/2010

"Ploeg is a traveling vegan personal chef that wrote the entertaining A Chef’s Tale travel zine based on his time on the road as a traveling chef. If you’ve read A Chef’s Tale you’ll be ready for the unique approach Ploeg takes in In Search of the Lost Taste.

A combination cookbook and surreal tale of a tomato and aliens, Ploeg’s latest is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Ploeg takes pride in combining seemingly incompatible ingredients and creating something amazine out of them. Where else have you seen recipes like:

* Bamboo, Radish, Leek Hearts & Fried Gluten in Spicy Coconut Milk Sauce
* Cherry Wontons with Plum-Brandy Sauce and Yam-Mango Ice Cream
* Orange and Vanilla Tart with Mint & Pineapple Glaze
* or, Beet Pancakes with Creamy Dill Sauce & Wild Mushroom-Walnut Spread

While the book is aimed at the more adventurous eaters (I wouldn’t, for example, choose one of these recipes to serve to your grandmother-who-only-eats-beef as her first introduction to vegan food), you won’t find yourself thinking, “Oh man… another ‘Basic Hummus’ recipe?!!”

Thusfar, we’ve only tried one recipe (Potato-Cucumber Salad with Onions & Sweet-Sour Parsley Vinaigrette, which, by the way, makes a metric asston of food). It was very tasty and leaves me anxious to explore some of Ploeg’s more avant-garde recipes. (And the illustrations are great, too.)"

Roctober 1/30/2010

" ... this is the first vegetarian cookbook I've ever seen where everything looks like it will actually taste good. Ploeg never limits himself to trying to simulate boring meat dishes with deceptive glutens and gourds, and also doesn't limit himself to standard hippie fare -- elaborate desserts, cocktails and beverages abound. These all seem like flavorful, novel, wonderful treats ... "

Razorcake 1/26/2010

“ … someone like Joshua Ploeg comes along and makes you stop and marvel all over again at how creative vegan cooking can be, and how there really is no limit to what you can make and eat.

Joshua is sort of a renegade vegan chef. He travels around and people ask him to come to their houses, where he then shows up and creates mouth-watering feasts. Before you know it, he’s left and you are sitting there with a pleasantly full stomach, scratching your head and wondering just how he made such an amazing meal. Well, with his new adventure cookbook, Joshua lifts a corner of the veil and demonstrates just how it’s done. With unique style, Joshua weaves a story about his fantastic quest for the ultimate recipe in with themed groups of recipes that much up nicely with each chapter of the tale. Talented comic artists Aaron Renier and Nate Beaty help bring Joshua’s words to life with a beautiful full-color cover and amusing interior illustrations, respectively. I won’t spoil the story by reveling what Joshua finds out at the end of his quest, but I will say that there is an important philosophical lesson about cooking, and vegan cooking in particular, to be learned in the pages of this book.

I’ve only had time so far to make a few recipes from the book, but they were all successes. Joshua is not afraid to mix what some may think are unlikely ingredients in his quest for the highest levels of flavor. The recipes are easy to follow, though, are written in an open, conversational style that encourages some customization, if you are a cook who likes to personalize a recipe. And what true cook doesn’t? It’s nice to use a cookbook for a change that is not so strict and didactic, but instead provides plenty of elbow room, should you need it. I look forward to making many more of Joshua’s recipes in the future!”

Midwest Book Review 11/1/2009

"Some people make simple, filling meals. Others treat cooking like one big science experiment, and there are those who are more successful than others. "In Search of the Lost Taste" is a vegan cookbook from Joshua Ploeg, a man who takes a fresh and exciting approach to vegan cooking, doing everything from simulated fried food to Miso Marys. With a strange, surreal story alongside the recipes, "In Search of the Lost Taste" is a cookbook experimental chefs will love."

avatar microcosm 4/7/2009

I'm thinking about Joshua Ploeg's food right now and it's destroying my day. Reason being, he makes all other food seem weak and tasteless in comparison. Long live Joshua Ploeg!

Oriana, GoodReads.com

Oh my god, it's a crazy adventure story starring a tomato as the hero, which is shot all through with insanely good(-sounding) vegan recipes. So cool!

Sample recipes (I'm only like ten pages in) include: Root Noodle Lasagna with Three Sauces, Walnut-Pecan and Chocolate Tarts with Espresso "Cream" and Candied Sage, Zucchini Puffs with Tomato Butter and Caper-Herb Dressing, and Soup in a Pumpkin.

Plus, my sister and I sort of hosted an event the publisher (Microcosm – support them, they're amazing) was doing; there were five of their authors doing a cross-country tour, which was kind of reading + presentation + skill-share. It was super-cool, they are all very nice, and Joshua Ploeg made refreshments for everyone that were delicious. Plus he is cute and nice. Could there possibly be anything more needed?? Buy his book!

Oriana, GoodReads.com

Oh my god, it's a crazy adventure story starring a tomato as the hero, which is shot all through with insanely good(-sounding) vegan recipes. So cool!

Sample recipes (I'm only like ten pages in) include: Root Noodle Lasagna with Three Sauces, Walnut-Pecan and Chocolate Tarts with Espresso "Cream" and Candied Sage, Zucchini Puffs with Tomato Butter and Caper-Herb Dressing, and Soup in a Pumpkin.

Plus, my sister and I sort of hosted an event the publisher (Microcosm – support them, they're amazing) was doing; there were five of their authors doing a cross-country tour, which was kind of reading + presentation + skill-share. It was super-cool, they are all very nice, and Joshua Ploeg made refreshments for everyone that were delicious. Plus he is cute and nice. Could there possibly be anything more needed?? Buy his book!

AK Press

(OK, most) of the recipes here are weird-sounding enough that you just know they must be delicious. The table of contents reads like the menu of a fancy restaurant, with all its yummy-sounding sauces, spreads, reductions, and relishes…and yet you won’t need the budget of a fancy restaurant to try out these recipes. Joshua Ploeg is the former singer of Behead the Prophet, Mukilteo Fairies and Lords of Lightspeed (I’m pretty uncool myself, so I’m just pretending I know who these bands are). He is now a vegan touring chef to the stars!

Quimblog

Two words: Lavender soda. Who says vegans only eat grass?

Vegalicous

Joshua Ploeg’s new cookbook “In Search of the Lost Taste” is packed with delicious, enticing recipes.

Pocketpig.com

Last night was an eating extravaganza at Neon's house. vegan-hardcorepunkrock travelling chef Joshua Ploeg (pictured here, formerly of Behead the Prophet NLSL & The Mukilteo Fairies) called neon's house a stop on his current food tour. What's a food tour? Oh like only the most amazing thing ever.

Newsreview.com

Newsreview.com's Best elusive vegan treat Joshua Ploeg’s calzones. In Sacramento, where vegetarian dining has yet to catch up with the rest of the city’s 21st-century developments, it’s the early vegan who gets the calzone. To gain possession of a fresh-baked mushroom-pesto or eggplant-marinara creation by Joshua Ploeg, a.k.a. the Traveling Vegan Chef, you’ll need to get to Pieces pizzeria within hours of their arrival. Well before closing time, every bite of tenderly baked eggplant, basil-laden sauce and flaky crust will be happily digested in the bellies of local vegans. Ploeg’s calzone deliveries are irregular (most often on Thursday nights around 5 p.m.), but he always sends a hot-food heads-up to his e-mail list. To sign up and chow down, visit his blog at http://joshuaploeg.blogspot.com.

Paper Dinosaur Zine Distribution

A traveling chef!! If I liked travelling, that’s how I’d like to do it. Joshua travels around doing private functions for cash and lodgings. If you’re in to cooking or travelling you’ll definitely get a kick out of this, and especially if you’ve cooked in any kind of “professional” manner, I mean even in the sense that you’re always the one cooking for the benefit gigs and squat cafes.

DairyFreeDesserts.com

I dare you to buy his book, go to his dinner party and eat the best vegan food you've ever had in your whole entire life...

Vis-a-Vis blog

Went to a Vegan Feast by chef Joshua Ploeg at the Purple House in Oakland where Nedelle was playing. Awesome food, awesome people and nice music. What more to ask!