By JULIA MOSKIN
The New York Times
ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ, a vegan chef, does not particularly like to talk about tofu. Ditto seitan, tempeh and nutritional yeast.
“I think vegan cooks need to learn to cook vegetables first,” she said last week during a cupcake-baking marathon. “Then maybe they can be allowed to move on to meat substitutes.”
Ms. Moskowitz, 34, was born in Coney Island Hospital, lives in Brooklyn, and is a typically impatient and opinionated New Yorker. She can’t stand how slowly most cooks peel garlic, makes relentless fun of Rachael Ray and rolls her eyes at the mention of California hippies.
But as a vegan and a follower of punk music since age 14, she is also part of a culinary movement that helped turn the chaotic energy of punk culture of the 1970s and 1980s into a progressive political force.
“Punk taught me to question everything,” Ms. Moskowitz said. “Of course, in my case that means questioning how to make a Hostess cupcake without eggs, butter or cream.”
The charm of Ms. Moskowitz — in person, in her cookbooks and on her public-access television cooking show, the Post-Punk Kitchen — is that she makes even the deprivations of veganism and the rage of punk seem like fun. Like feminism that embraces makeup and miniskirts — the frivolous bits — Ms. Moskowitz’s veganism embraces chocolate, white flour, confectioners’ sugar, and food coloring.