Question: What happens when one of the world’s greatest vegan chefs teams up with one of the country’s most renowned vegan restaurants? Answer: Absolute magic!

Last night, I had the honor of attending a mouth-watering four-course meal at Candle 79, prepared by The Conscious Cook author Tal Ronnen.

In the spring of 2008, Ronnen became known nationwide when he served as Oprah Winfrey’s private chef during her 21-day vegan cleanse. He is also famous for catering Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s vegan wedding, Arianna Huffington’s party at the Democratic National Convention, and the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate. Long story short: we KNEW we were in for a treat!

The meal began with a light celery root soup with granny smith apples and a chive oil that was just perfect for the chilly winter evening.  Up next, a lovely quinoa dish with Belgian endive, orange and garnished with an elegant champagne vinaigrette.  For my entree, I chose the scaloppini, which featured the most insane piece of Gardein chick’n you’ve ever tasted. This product is a GAME-CHANGER — you MUST try it! The meal closed with a decadent piece of banana cheesecake that was sure to make even the most finicky dessert-eater grin with utter delight.

Of course, it wasn’t just the food that was lovely — we also had the privilege of sharing the table with some of our favorite vegan do-gooders, including: Girlie Girl Army founder Chloe Jo Davis, Cro-Mag legend John Joseph, reality television personality Eric Nies, Barefoot Tiger guru Kendra Coppey, Built by the Factory Creative Director Jeremy Davis and many others. Before we left, we made sure to say hello to HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell, Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern Show, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and some of our friends from PETA.

As midnight approached, I left the warm hearth of Candle 79 convinced that all one really needs in this life is good friends, good food and maybe some of that Gardein vegan chick’n.

If you’d like to stay in the loop with everything happening at Candle 79, make sure to follow them on Twitter or join their Facebook fan page!

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  • http://www.sweetavenuebakeshop.com Danielle & Jake Vance

    We attended also and really enjoyed our dinner. Loved the Gardein Scallopini!

    • Michael Parrish DuDell

      RIGHT??!!! So delicious!

  • http://www.organikook.com OrganiKooK

    wow, what a meal. I have his book and have yet to find a yucky recipe. That would have been like a dream to be there!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664072651 Ingrid

    Tal seems like such an amazing Chef. Kudos to him. I have a question:
    Isn’t Gardein soy genetically modified since it’s not organic right? Did you know over 90% of our soy is a GMO? How about some fish genes in your soy? Then you wouldn’t be Vegan right? Our in your potatoes? Fire Fly Genes?

    There are many videos on this subject like this one:

    Or watch the amazing movie “Future of Food” “King Corn” “Food Inc” “World according to Monssanto”.

    Want more info? Check out the site by Jeffrey Smith http://www.seedsofdeception
    The only support you’ll be giving Chipotle by buy non organic soy is helping to support GMOs — which eventually will give biochemical companies the strength to add animal genes to your wonderful veggies. That is not the only fear, the same GMO crops will cross pollinate into our organic ones. We will not be able to turn back the hands of time and Vegans will only have themselves to blame. Michael Pollan has spoken about GMOs and how it’s not a good idea, Japan has banned them, so has Germany, Egypt, Italy and France is completely against them. Prince Charles said it’s one of the worst things we can do. Why are we still using GMOs and not sharing the fact that Mice that eat GMOs have been found to have tumors, stomach leasions, and damage to most organs? Because the companies that are making them are American. Money over matter. Do you know why the bees are disappearing? The bats are dying? Our butterflies as well? It’s not some mystery. Experts all agree that putting GMO with pesticides in the plants is one of the worst ideas that could have been created. Did you know that? They are putting herbicides and pesticides in the seeds? In the seeds! Yes, all vegans will be eating pesticides eventually and animal genes whether they like it or not if we allow them to. So please support Organic soy and organic corn. Never non organic soy. You’ll look back many years from now and regret you didn’t. Don’t say I never emailed you about this.
    Thank you and your site looks great!!!

    Warmest regards,


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  • http://www.pinkvegan.wordpress.com Chay

    I love Tal Ronnen’s recipes. I am completing all 50 recipes in “The Conscious Cook” and commenting on them with pics. It’s so exciting trying his recipes out. Check out my blog at http://www.pinkvegan.wordpress.com

    You must buy his book!