Going from 100% omni to 100%vegan overnight meant I had to relearn everything I knew about cooking. No longer could I rely on a hunk of meat to anchor the plate and surround it by sides and sauces. Cooking vegan takes a higher skill level, a level of finesse, and, in the end, is far more rewarding in so many delicious ways.
With over two years experience under my now smaller belt, my ability in the kitchen pales in comparison to one of the Internet’s most popular vegan instructors and chefs: Cobi Kim.
Currently (for a few more day, actually) residing in Hawaii, Cobi draws from her own background to create colorful dishes that make any foodie’s mouth water. Cobi took time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions with the Meaty Vegan.
MV: You seem to travel extensively, what is your favorite vegan destination and your favorite vegan restaurant?
CK: I’ve been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles again and even though there a zillion plant-based dining options, I seem to always find my way back to Crossroads on Melrose. I go for the Kite Hill cheese plate and vegan crab cakes, then drink my dessert in the form of their signature adult beverage, the Deliberate Accident.
MV: What would you make for Sunday Brunch if the President were coming over?
CK: Depends which President! But I think a Tofu Benedict Florentine, Apple Sage Sausage + Potato Hash and Fresh Berry Chia Pudding Parfait would be fare fit for the POTUS.
CK: Little known secret: Winston the Pug, my canine companion, does all of the pre and post production work. I just show up as the talent. It’s a pretty sweet gig.
MV: I have never been to Hawaii because I am fearful if I went, I would never want to leave. Is this an accurate assessment of the 50th State?
CK: It’s paradise. There’s a good reason for the hashtag #LuckyWeLiveHawaii
MV: If you could travel back or forward in time, where would you go and why?
CK: I’d like to have a peek at what the world will be like in the next 15-20 years. What other advances in technology will become essential to raise the creative collective consciousness? I want to know!
MV: I’m a huge fan of Korean food and have created gluten-free, vegan versions of kimchi, soon dubu jigae, and pangeon, do you agree that every food in the world should be vegan?
CK: Hmmm, do you mean every culture’s food should veganizeable or actually every type of food that is consumable should be veganized? Because the thought of vegan offal like, oh say, sweet breads or tripe is just too weird for me. I saw a can of vegan haggis once and just thought … WHY? But then again, I do have a recipe for vegan SPAM on my channel.
MV: If we opened your refrigerator right now, what would we find?
CK: I’m moving in two days, so I’m down to just condiments and two pints of organic strawberries. I know, tres pathetique …
MV: If I were coming over for lunch tomorrow, what would you make me?
CK: I’ve been obsessed with this cold soba noodle recipe inspired by my friend Donald. The noodles are tossed with a spicy chili-garlic sauce. Totally refreshing for summer with fresh spinach, edamame, pickled carrots + daikon and topped with black sesame seeds.
MV: What’s next for Cobi Kim?
CK: I’ll be taking on the adventure of moving to the PNW this summer as I work on my cookbook (release date Jan 2015). I’m so excited for the change of scenery and new sources of daily inspiration. There will be more daily vlogs on my YouTube channel along with a brand new vegan cooking series in the Fall. Stay tubed!
Photo by: Hannah Kaminsky