By Tanya Petrovna
Shambhala Publications, $24.95, 328 pages

Cookbooks written by chef-owners of restaurants often rate low as they forget who their audience. Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook is thankfully an exception. Tanya Patrovna, owner of a vegetarian restaurant, writes simply, clearly, using ingredients any vegetarian market would carry and down to a home cook’s kitchen level. The most basic cook should have no problem following her recipes; instructions are brief, basic and to the point (real novice cooks may not even have problems). Most recipes are admirably simple (Garlic Toast), only a few are time consuming (Oopa Moussaka). In fact, many recipes may be too simple to be true. Gaucamole, for instance has only two ingredients plus salt (my own guacamole has six). These recipes are for very simple vegetarian and vegan cooking, not for sophisticated gourmet meals. Many of the recipe names are strange and might confuse the cook (Fellini’s Dream, Gorgeous Greek).

“…eating vegetarian can be exciting, exotic, erotic, tasty, and definitely not boring rabbit food.”

The first 72 pages introduce everything you need to know about vegetarian and organic ingredients, and techniques. The book is trade paperback, no illustrations and inexpensively produced. Index is well cross referenced and excellent.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,