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Vegetarian cooking guru to visit Morro Bay

Edward Espe Brown demonstrating knife skills, learned over several years as TassajaraÕs head cook, at one of the many cooking demonstrations and classes he offers nationally and internationally. Photo by Andrew DeFeo.
Edward Espe Brown demonstrating knife skills, learned over several years as TassajaraÕs head cook, at one of the many cooking demonstrations and classes he offers nationally and internationally. Photo by Andrew DeFeo.

A leader in vegetarian and vegan cooking is coming to Morro Bay on Thursday.

Edward Espe Brown, whose “Tassajara Cooking” and “Tassajara Bread” cookbooks became staples in vegetarian kitchens in the 1970s, has inspired like-minded chefs for decades and is considered a culinary guru for his work with lentils and assorted greens.

He recently released a new title, “The Complete Tassajara Cookbook: Recipes, Techniques, and Reflections from the Famed Zen Kitchen.” This latest book includes several new recipes, as well as rewritten and revisited ideas from the Tassajara books and “Tomato Blessings.”

With ample anecdotes about both successes and setbacks in the kitchen, “The Complete Tassajara Cookbook” is geared toward new or anxious cooks, an approach Brown said encourages novice chefs to learn for themselves.

“Many cookbooks and self-help books convey the attitude that ‘if you do what I tell you, everything will work out,’ ” said Brown, who is also a Zen priest. “That really reflects more toward the author than you, because it suggests that there’s always someone more expert than you, that you’re the proverbial child.”

Meet the author

Author, cook and Zen priest Edward Espe Brown will sign books at Coalesce Bookstore at 845 Main St. in Morro Bay on Thursday, from 5 to 6 p.m.

He will also conduct a Meditative Touch workshop that afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Coalesce Chapel for $35; attendance is limited to 20 people. For more information, call Margaret Bertrand at 528-0704.

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