This piece was first published on The Jew and the Carrot blog at the Forward.
Katzen was at the tech giant headquarters pushing her new cookbook, “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation.” It’s her 12th book published in the 40 years since she burst on the culinary scene with her seminal “Moosewood Cookbook.” Katzen spoke to the Googlers for 50 minutes, spending a full 15 of them parsing the book’s title.
This is the first time Katzen has used “vegetarian” on the cover of one of her books — and she purposely uses the word as an adjective and not a noun. “I personally choose to redefine it,” she says of the word. She wants people to stop using it to label people, and instead to start using it to describe the food on a plate.
“When someone sits down at your table and says they’re a vegetarian, they’re mainly making a statement about meat — as in, ‘I don’t want it, keep it away,’” she explains. “I have found so many self-described vegetarians for whom it has nothing, or very little, to do with vegetables.”
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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.