12 March 2012

Interview: 'Cupcake Wars' winner Chloe Coscarelli pens new vegan cookbook

Chloe Coscarelli took the culinary world by storm when she took home top honors on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" in 2010 -- the first vegan to ever accomplish such a feat. And now, the Natural Gourmet Institute grad is setting her sights on America's home chefs. Her brand-new cookbook, "Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way" hit shelves last week, making cooking and baking like a cruelty-free phenom easier than ever. We caught up with the exuberant Coscarelli amid the media frenzy currently surrounding her (she's recently been featured on VH1's "Big Morning Buzz," "The Today Show" and Martha Stewart Living Radio) to find out what makes her such a force to be reckoned with.

THIS DISH IS VEG: What was one challenge and one reward that you experienced while writing "Chloe's Kitchen?" 
COSCARELLI: The challenge was having the patience to test the same recipes over and over and over again until they were perfect! The reward was getting to eat my favorite foods over and over and over again as I tested!

TDIV: What five things are always in your fridge or cabinet?
COSCARELLI: Cashews, lemon juice, dried pasta of some shape, onion and garlic ... all the ingredients I need to make my favorite dish from my book, Fettuccine Alfredo! :)

TDIV: What's your favorite dish to serve non-vegans? Is it in "Chloe's Kitchen?"
COSCARELLI: I love making Double Double Drive Thru Burgers from "Chloe's Kitchen" for non-vegans! It is so hearty and flavorful, and my guests are always shocked when they find out it's vegan!

TDIV: What vegan myth do you wish would be debunked once and for all?
COSCARELLI: Some think vegan food is bland and boring. WRONG! This is an old-fashioned notion. Every recipe in "Chloe's Kitchen" is flavorful and exciting -- no bland tofu and sprout sandwiches over here!

TDIV: With its growing popularity and mainstream attention, what do you think we can do to make sure veganism doesn't become a flash-in-the-pan diet trend?
COSCARELLI: There is no way this diet is doing out of fashion any time soon. Vegan food is delicious, healing for our bodies and great for the planet -- when would those perks ever go out of style?

TDIV: You've conquered "Cupcake Wars," you've got your first cookbook coming out, what's next for you?
COSCARELLI: Hopefully, lots! Stay tuned at ChefChloe.com to find out!

Shop for "Chloe's Kitchen" on Amazon.com.

Stephanie DeBalko | @_stephanied_
Stephanie is a freelance writer who loves shelter dogs and Vegenaise. She recently came to the conclusion that the written word could be an amazing ally for all animals, and is choosing to use her nerdy love of grammar and punctuation for the greater good of animal welfare. She can also be found at I Hope Vodka Is Vegan.

Photo credit: Chloe's Kitchen