Plantlab by Matthew Kenney

Plantlab: Crafting the Future of Food by Matthew Kenney is a visual feast for the eyes. Kenney, long considered a pioneer in raw and vegan cuisine, delivers the definitive vegan cookbook for serious foodies and chefs. His life's work has been his commitment to plant-based innovation as well as culinary nutrition, and here he employs inventive techniques and creative thinking in dishes that are visual masterpieces as well as delectable meals.

As founder of Plantlab® a high end vegan culinary school  created to meet the increasing demand for health-conscious cuisine by offering world-class, plant-based culinary training and Matthew Kenney Cuisine, an integrated, California-based lifestyle company, Kenney states that his role is to share the benefits of what his companies do, and to ensure that future generations treat food and food preparation with respect, in order to best serve the world's citizens, its animals, and the planet. 

Plantlab, the cookbook, begins with an introduction that details the author's work as mentioned above, his thoughts on the future of food and the role creativity plays in his food. Photo albums come next with each section divided by skill level: Fundamental, Advanced, Professional and Future. Trailing the stunning photography, recipe text is set forth with the same. The index before each section outlines the recipe titles and descriptions of dishes and sets forth both the recipe page number and the page number where the photograph can be found in parenthesis. The same goes for each photograph and recipe sharing cross information which makes this very user friendly as it is not your typical cookbook that has photos and recipes set out on the same page. There is nothing typical about this book at all. It will stretch our creativity and skill levels with the bonus of sparking an interest in how we approach and think about food which is one of the reasons it made my best books of 2017 list.

Like all masterpieces, work is involved. Creating dishes that are visually stunning, while incredibly delicious, isn't for the faint of heart - there is a required dedication in using the best quality ingredients as well as time to address each component and assembly of the finished dish. Plantlab is true inspiration as a resource to explore our creative side and hone our culinary skills. 

Special thanks to Regan Arts for sharing the following recipe with our members today along with providing two copies of Plantlab in our contest below. 

Hearts of palm ceviche, leche de tigre, red pepper oil

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Serves 6-8

Hearts of palm

  • 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound hearts of palm, sliced into rounds

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Add hearts of palm, making sure they are completely covered with dressing. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Leche de tigre 

  • 2 cups celery juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1⁄2 habanero pepper, seeded
  • 1 aji amarillo, whole
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt

In a high-speed blender, blend the celery juice, cilantro, habanero, aji, ginger, lime juice, and garlic until smooth. Reduce speed to low, slowly add the coconut milk, and continue blending until emulsified. Add salt to taste and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Red pepper oil

  • 1⁄2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1⁄4 cup Sichuan chili flakes
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Blend the oil, Sichuan chili flakes, and salt in a small blender at the highest speed for 3-5 minutes. Pour oil and chili mixture through a strainer with a coffee filter inside. Let the oil drain undisturbed; do not force it through. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


  • 2 celery stalks, shaved with a vegetable peeler, stored in ice water
  • 1 watermelon radish, sliced thin with a mandoline
  • 1⁄2 cup micro or small Thai basil leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup seagrass
  • Edible flowers (nasturtium or Johnny Jump Ups)


Place the marinated kale in a pile in the center of a shallow bowl. Place the cubed watermelon on the kale in a circle. Pour 1 tablespoon ponzu-lime marinade over the watermelon. Garnish the watermelon with ginger, mint, and flowers. Season with flake salt.

Excerpted with permission from Plantlab: Crafting the Future of Food by Matthew Kenney (Regan Arts, Nov. 2017) Photo: Adrian Mueller

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe from the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on March 12th, 2018.


  • jmay42066  on  2/6/2018 at 11:00 AM

    Heirloom tomato, almond ricotta, tomato sauce, green olives

  • EmilyR  on  2/6/2018 at 11:11 AM

    Watermelon poke, ponzu-lime marinade, pickled ginger, kale, macadamia, mint

  • DimensionAEB  on  2/6/2018 at 12:10 PM

    The Bang Bang Chicken

  • Angryyew  on  2/6/2018 at 3:40 PM

    Watermelon poke

  • Dannausc  on  2/6/2018 at 4:05 PM

    Vegetable ash cashew cheese

  • littleminxgirl  on  2/6/2018 at 5:10 PM

    He bang bang chicken sound pretty good

  • jr0717  on  2/6/2018 at 10:39 PM

    It all looks amazing, but I'd probably have to try the porcini-crusted whole cauliflower first!

  • AnnaZed  on  2/6/2018 at 11:27 PM

    Avocado toast, kumquat, radish, herbs

  • kmn4  on  2/8/2018 at 11:40 AM

    Sprouted chickpea hummus, za'atar crackers, harissa

  • sarahawker  on  2/8/2018 at 4:03 PM

    Paletas, pineapple + mango + starfruit

  • Siegal  on  2/8/2018 at 8:22 PM

    I want to make Paletas

  • lebarron2001  on  2/9/2018 at 11:19 AM

    Mango cheesecake, macadamia coconut crust, whole lemon purée, lemongrass curd, blueberry sauce

  • sgump  on  2/9/2018 at 4:56 PM

    The "plant bowl, quinoa, preserved lemon tahini, piquillo romesco, sprouted lentils, roasted kabocha squash, kale" sounds like fun.

  • Megoola  on  2/10/2018 at 9:36 AM

    Any of the the paletas...after the snow is gone.

  • Shelley.b  on  2/10/2018 at 3:02 PM

    Bang bang chicken

  • LaurenE  on  2/10/2018 at 7:31 PM

    Watermelon poke

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 7:21 AM

    Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower

  • ravensfan  on  2/15/2018 at 12:56 PM

    Black peppercorn-crusted macadamia cheese

  • Scotsman61  on  2/16/2018 at 9:41 PM

    Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower

  • JenJoLa  on  2/17/2018 at 6:20 PM

    Cashew harissa "Jack" cheese, carrot crackers

  • FireRunner2379  on  2/18/2018 at 5:12 PM

    The Rainbow carrot pizza, spicy herb oil, cashew mozzarella, chili cashew cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds sounds very interesting!

  • daniellespinato1  on  2/19/2018 at 12:51 PM

    Watermelon poke sounds so interesting!

  • lgroom  on  2/19/2018 at 1:47 PM

    Porcini crusted whole cauliflower.

  • MelMM  on  2/20/2018 at 4:29 PM

    Oyster mushroom moqueca!

  • clairew137  on  2/25/2018 at 3:56 AM

    Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower

  • rachael_mc  on  2/25/2018 at 5:31 PM

    Butternut squash tagliatelle

  • HermionieG  on  2/27/2018 at 10:24 AM

    Eggplant bun, smoked paprika aioli, eggplant, crispy olives

  • Aproporpoise  on  2/27/2018 at 2:47 PM

    Definitely some of the cashew cheeses - mainly the wine-soaked one!

  • outsidereader  on  2/28/2018 at 6:29 AM

    I would love to try the Avocado toast, kumquat, radish, herbs.

  • AlisonL  on  2/28/2018 at 10:23 AM

    Chickpea frittata, cashew yogurt, green goddess dressing, lemon-dressed greens or the Shishito peppers, preserved lemon tahini sauce.

  • Sfgordon  on  2/28/2018 at 7:40 PM

    Massaged kale salad, coconut-lime dressing, avocado, chili-lime macadamia

  • Gussiecat  on  2/28/2018 at 10:04 PM

    Cashew raclette!

  • BrandonGM  on  3/1/2018 at 10:21 AM

    Farro-fennel sausage pizza, cashew mozzarella, tomato sauce ! Hurrah for vegan pizza!

  • RecipesLost  on  3/1/2018 at 10:37 AM

    Whoa! Chickpea ramen, miso broth, garbanzo beans, sun-dried tomatoes, kale

  • Marcia1206  on  3/1/2018 at 8:51 PM

    I would make the heirloom tomato salad with the almond ricotta. It even sounds good without the macadamia nuts

  • TheCookbookCook  on  3/2/2018 at 7:50 PM

    Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower

  • Lucicat  on  3/2/2018 at 8:42 PM

    Radishes, walnut toast, whipped macadamia butter

  • ktpotat  on  3/2/2018 at 9:23 PM

    Smashed cucumber

  • t.t  on  3/3/2018 at 2:10 AM

    Green papaya, daikon, sesame-ginger dressing, crushed almonds, radish sprouts

  • RickPearson54  on  3/3/2018 at 3:11 PM

    Smashed cucumber

  • maestra  on  3/3/2018 at 3:39 PM

    I will immediately make Shishito peppers, preserved lemon tahini sauce. I will dream about making Quinoa pudding, lucuma ice cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate tuile until I can get my hands on some lucuma pulp.

  • HomespunHouse  on  3/3/2018 at 9:42 PM

    Venice Beach Garden salad

  • Julia  on  3/4/2018 at 1:24 AM

    Heirloom tomato, almond ricotta, tomato sauce, green olives

  • sequoia55  on  3/4/2018 at 2:00 AM

    Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower

  • RSW  on  3/4/2018 at 10:27 AM

    Butternut squash carpaccio, quince purée, pickled mustard seeds, candied pepitas, apple

  • Laura1  on  3/4/2018 at 4:32 PM

    Smashed cucumber

  • Shelley.b  on  3/4/2018 at 5:50 PM

    Bang bang chicken

  • KarenDel  on  3/6/2018 at 8:00 AM

    I want to try the Cashew raclette, paprika oil, grilled bread

  • Jenamarie  on  3/8/2018 at 9:26 AM

    This cookbook sounds awesome! I'd like to first try making the Cashew harissa "Jack" cheese, carrot crackers

  • Coffeebean  on  3/9/2018 at 10:48 PM

    Smashed cucumber

  • orchidlady01  on  3/10/2018 at 3:59 AM

    Mango cheesecake, macadamia coconut crust, whole lemon purée, lemongrass curd, blueberry sauce

  • lauriesk  on  3/11/2018 at 5:32 PM

    I would try the Porcini-crusted whole cauliflower.

  • NaomiH  on  3/12/2018 at 12:25 PM

    Chili ramen, smoked tofu, red pepper purée, charred chilies, miso broth

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