Joshua Ploeg’s latest cookbook

Photo By mark stivers

Joshua Ploeg, the traveling vegan chef who calls Sacramento home (for now), has written his fourth vegan cookbook In Search of Lost Taste. Delicious and creative recipes (chilled tomatoes in sake vinaigrette, butter-bean roasted eggplant dip) are interspersed with parts of a choose-your-own-adventure-style story about an intrepid adventurer who has to battle creatures varying from the Abominable Snowman to aliens in search of the “ultimate recipe.” A lot of this book’s recipes could qualify for that title, especially the fanciful desserts (plum and pistachio crisp with ouzo-lemon “ice cream” in rose syrup) and the dynamite sweet and savory cocktails (the Miso Mary, the beetini). You can get a copy of the book for only $8 at Pangaea Café or by going to the Microcosm Publishing Web site (