Michael Natkin's Herbivoracious: Roasted Maitake Mushrooms in Smoky Tea Broth

Well hello there. A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Michael Natkin of the site (and new cookbook) Herbivoracious. As the name suggests, he is a vegetarian chef.

I also found out that Michael is a really nice guy. He loves what he does and is really passionate about sharing his knowledge and love of vegetarian cooking with the world. The book's introduction outlines his very personal journey to becoming a vegetarian, which involved his mother's battle with cancer, his taking over the cooking for the family, and ultimately learning through trial and error about food and cooking.

The recipes in Herbivoracious are straightforward  and easy to follow. I chose to make the Maitake Mushrooms in Smoky Tea Broth. The choice was simple. I am in love with Lapsang Souchang tea. Therefore, any recipe that allows me to use said tea, is for me. It turned out just as the book said: salty, smoky and earthy. Considering this is such a simple recipe, you could really wow a crowd with it because the mix of flavors packs a powerful punch.

It has been about 9 months since I started attending food blogger events out in the real world. I'm amazed at what a nice group of people I've met and how open they all are in sharing tips and tricks of blogging. When I arrived at Cookhouse, the beautiful North Beach location where the event was held, I was nervous and worried I wouldn't feel comfortable with the crowd.

The nerves disappeared immediately when Michael walked right up, shook my hand and we proceeded to discuss the night's menu. His ease with the crowd was refreshing. He talked to me about sharing vegetarian tips (since I dabble with vegetarian recipes and he's an expert) and offered up encouragement with my vegetarian experiments. His blog is amazing and really shows his personality and skill through the written recipes as well as the video demos.

If you'd like to make the Maitake Mushrooms in Smoky Tea Broth that I have shown here, click on over to Michael's Herbivoracious site to check out the book.