Star of Brooklyn cable-access show Post Punk Kitchen and author of cookbooks Vegan With a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Isa Chandra Moskowitz combines punk, veganism, and sugar to churn out one hell of a recipe (not to mention one hell of an interview).
How did you decide to become a vegan?
I actually went vegan when I was a teenager for ethical reasons. I have always really liked animals and had lots of cats, so I knew that the animals we eat are animals just like my cats.
How did Post Punk Kitchen come about?
At the time, I was working in a café and also watching the Food Network a lot. So when I would be cooking in the café, I would be doing a lil’ food show in my head. It was around that time that [the show] finally started to come together.
You regularly feature bands on PPK. Do cooking and music go hand in hand?
For me, I can’t get up into the kitchen unless there’s music on, but I really can’t do anything unless there’s music on.
What music is currently coming from your kitchen?
I’ve been listening to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists pretty much exclusively.
Do you think there’s any connection between cooking, activism, and music?
Well, I think within the culture that I came to age in there is a big connection—the overall idea that you should do things yourself.
Why did you decide to write Vegan With a Vengeance?
I have been compiling recipes since I was a teenager. Vegan With a Vengeance was actually first conceptualized as a zine. Then a literary agent contacted me asking if I wanted it published, and I was like, “Yeah!”
How did Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World come about?
I just wanted to do something really fun and cute and to give people the idea that veganism isn’t all quinoa and nutritional yeast. I wanted to bring a lil’ happiness to vegans. I think people get tired of looking at slaughterhouse footage all the time, so I try to promote something positive.
Do you have any advice for us novice vegan chefs?
Just keep cooking. The more you cook, the more familiar you get with the ingredients and how they’re going to act. So I would say just cook a lot and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.