‘Cos it’s in The New York Times:
Strict Vegan Ethics, Frosted With Hedonism
January 24, 2007
ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ, a vegan chef, does not particularly like to talk about tofu. Ditto seitan, tempeh and nutritional yeast.
“I think vegan cooks need to learn to cook vegetables first,” she said last week during a cupcake-baking marathon. “Then maybe they can be allowed to move on to meat substitutes.”
Ms. Moskowitz, 34, was born in Coney Island Hospital, lives in Brooklyn, and is a typically impatient and opinionated New Yorker. She can’t stand how slowly most cooks peel garlic, makes relentless fun of Rachael Ray and rolls her eyes at the mention of California hippies.
But as a vegan and a follower of punk music since age 14, she is also part of a culinary movement that helped turn the chaotic energy of punk culture of the 1970s and 1980s into a progressive political force.
“Punk taught me to question everything,” Ms. Moskowitz said. “Of course, in my case that means questioning how to make a Hostess cupcake without eggs, butter or cream.”
At 16, Ms. Moskowitz dropped out of the High School of Music and Art in New York to follow bands, live in squats in the East Village and cook for social justice.
“I learned knife skills by cooking for Food not Bombs,” she said, referring to the activist group that protests corporate and government food policy. “But I also learned to love Julia Child and Martha Stewart. Vegan food can and must be pretty,” she said, pounding a fist on the butcher-block counter.
Ms. Moskowitz’s kitchen, like punk music itself, has a strong do-it-yourself aesthetic. Her husband, a carpenter, builds more shelves when the ingredients threaten to take over, the oven needs frequent coaxing to get up to temperature, and if Fizzle the cat wants to sit on top of the refrigerator, the cupcakes must move over and make room…