Vegan Secret Supper cookbook to be launched in Vancouver

Mérida Anderson

Vegan Secret Supper author Mérida Anderson is coming home. (Danny Rico)

Mérida Anderson’s Vegan Secret Supper cookbook is full of sophisticated recipes, such as hazelnut-crusted portobellos with caramelized fennel parsnip mash, radicchio marmalade, and balsamic port reduction. A week ago, I tried one of the simplest recipes, making crêpes using just wheat flour, rice milk, salt, and margarine.

Back in March, I interviewed Anderson about her cookbook and her vegan dinner club, which was the first of its kind in Vancouver. The self-taught chef now lives in Montréal, but she’ll be coming to town later this month in order to promote the book. Continue reading

Cookbook review: Vegan Secret Supper by Mérida Anderson

Vegan Secret Supper

Vegan Secret Supper is a gorgeous cookbook.

Mérida Anderson is a self-taught chef from Vancouver who now lives in Montréal. She brought the underground vegan restaurant to Vancouver, after experiencing something similar in her travels. She started Vegan Secret Supper almost five years ago in her small attic apartment with a tiny kitchen, and has grown it ever since.

“What is an underground restaurant?” you might ask. Well, Mérida started off cooking three-course vegan meals for friends every Sunday evening. Those friends brought friends and so on, word spread, and before she knew it there were five tables in the living room and the place was buzzing every weekend. Vegan Secret Supper, or VSS, was born. VSS inspired many people in Vancouver. I’ve heard that there are at least three active vegan dinner clubs in this city (including mine, Plate Invaders), and there were even more, like the Vancouver Vegan Brunch, which is on a hiatus.

Lo ond behold, Mérida has finally put her favourite recipes into a book titled Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus From a Rogue Kitchen! It’s published by Arsenal Pulp Press, which is based in Vancouver, and in stores now. Continue reading

Plate Invaders carries on the Vegan Secret Supper tradition in East Van

Stacked turnip

Stacked turnip, marinated sunburst squash, creamy red quinoa, red pepper sauce. (Stephen Hui)

As part of the “research” for my newspaper article on Vancouver’s underground vegan dining scene, I attended a Plate Invaders supper last month. Tim Aretz and Alissa Raye are doing great things with their vegan dinner club in Mount Pleasant.

Plate Invaders is actually hosted in the same apartment that launched Mérida Anderson’s celebrated Vegan Secret Supper, which has just given rise to a cookbook. We even ate on Anderson’s old table.

Eight other people joined me for the first of the night’s two sittings. For most of us, it was our first time at Plate Invaders. In between bites, we chatted about our jobs, local restaurants, becoming vegan, and coconut bacon. Continue reading

Vegan Secret Supper cookbook coming out in 2013

Vegan Secret Supper

Mérida Anderson is ready to reveal some of her kitchen secrets.

A few years back, Mérida Anderson created the Vegan Secret Supper in Vancouver, attracting a lot of local buzz. After the chef moved to New York City, she restarted her underground dining club there to further acclaim. While the suppers are now held regularly in Brooklyn, VSS has been known to pop up in Montréal and Vancouver. Continue reading