Set A Vegan Global Table: Tal Ronnen's CROSSROADS Cookbook


Photos by Lisa Romerein

Now you can sink your own fork into Crossroads’ to-die-for vegan fare.

Tal Ronnen, a classically trained chef, is the Founder and Chef of Crossroads, an exceptional, award-winning plant-based restaurant in Los Angeles. Ronnen, along with Crossroad’s Executive Chef Scot Jones and Master Vegan Baker Serafina Magnussen, have crafted amazing, plant-based meals for the CROSSROADS cookbook. Redefine your dinner menu with gourmet vegan dishes, including 100 Mediterranean inspired recipes and 125 beautiful culinary photos. Kim Kessler talks to Ronnen, and gets the backstory.

Confession: Crossroads is one of my ultimate favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. So I was elated to see that the recipes for many of the dishes I crave frequently were included in the CROSSROADS cookbook. Think, and then taste dishes such as Artichoke Oysters with a Tomato Bernaise Sauce and Kelp Caviar; Acorn Squash Ravioli with Kale and Black Garlic Butter Sauce; Greek Kale Spanakopita with Harrisa Sauce and Mint Oil; and Butternut Squash Flatbread with Brussels Sprout Leaves.

Former President Bill Clinton was quoted previously by saying “Tal Ronnen’s food is terrific. Delicious, nourishing and plant-based, it can change your whole approach to eating healthy.” I found it fascinating that Chef Michael Voltaggio, who is clearly not vegan or vegetarian by any stretch, was selected to write the foreward for the CROSSROADS cookbook. He wrote “Tal Ronnen is a magician–every time I eat his food, I find myself wanting more and more, and I never miss the butter or bacon fat.” 

Ronnen curated and prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day vegan cleanse. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, he is also co-creator of Kite Hill Cheese, the first nondairy and nut-based cheese sold at the high-end counter at Whole Foods, and a collaborating chef at the Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas. As Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn follows a plant-based diet, he hired Ronnen to help create separate vegan menus for all restaurants at Wynn and Encore hotels in Las Vegas.

Change up the dinner party or holiday fare and, maybe, change a few minds about vegan food. Or give this masterful book as a gift. At a mere $35 retail, the book empowers foodies to create healthful, elevated meals that can be served year-round. 

“The challenge in vegan cooking lies not in cheapening the food by making it feel like a knockoff or a shadow of the original, but rather in making vegetables shine in their own right while still satisfying those cravings,” says Ronnen. “By refocusing on what makes food rich and pleasurable to begin with, I realized I could create plant-based dishes that appeal to everyone, not just vegans.”

Kite Hill Cheese


Kim Kessler writes The Vegan Travelista, a guide for jet setting foodies in search of plant-based meals in
far-flung locales.