I'd been looking forward to interviewing vegan author Isa Chandra Moskowitz all week. We met up at the Vox café in Brooklyn.
But the technical problems persisted. I'd given up on the mini-disc recorder and borrowed a friend's cassette recorder. I'd also asked Isa to bring a recording mechanism in case mine didn't work. Good thing, 'cause every button worked on the cassette recorder except the record button. After 30 minutes, we gave up, and Isa unveiled her fancy digital recorder, only to discover the battery was dead. I fetched a battery from a store up the street, and finally, we were in business.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Isa's been immersed in vegan, anarchist, and feminist politics since she was 16. She started cooking around the same time. She'd always wanted to do a cable-access show, and finally started one back in 2004. The show, Post Punk Kitchen, was covered in (the now sadly-defunct) Punk Planet, and shortly after, Isa was contacted by an agent in Los Angeles, who wanted her to write a cookbook.
Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World followed. Her latest, an all-purpose vegan cookbook ominously-titled Veganomicon, was just released. As far as I've seen, it's the first all-purpose vegan cookbook.
Isa talked about the connection between veganism and feminism, the importance of paying attention to food politics, the fun of geeking out at health food stores, and her future plans of moving to Portland, Oregon and opening up a vegan restaurant.
One of these days, I'll post excerpts from our conversation, but we're still having technical difficulties… In the meantime, listen to an interview with Isa and her co-author Terry Hope Romero on NPR.