PGM 05 | The Whole Food Kitchen with Amy Chaplin

Dec 12 2014

I'm so delighted to have Amy Chaplin as this week's guest on the show. Amy is the celebrated author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, an incredible cookbook containing over 150 vegetarian and mostly vegan recipes, as well as an extensive section on building a well stocked pantry and properly preparing foods such as beans and grains. Amy is lovely to talk to. She shares openly about her unique childhood in a sustainable homesteading community in Australia, her journey learning to cook through to becoming the executive chef at NYC's famous vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, and finally the incredible hard work that went into producing her new book, the culmination of her career in food so far. In the show you can expect an insider look at Amy's food philosophy and learn much about who she is and her process in the kitchen. Get detailed show notes with links over at Thank you for listening!

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Click to Tweet: "Nothing gives me more pleasure than sharing food." @amychaplin, PGM Podcast


Show Notes & Main Themes

How Amy's childhood growing up in a sustainable farming community shaped her perspective and approach to food, which laid the foundation for her natural migration toward a career in food.

Amy's somewhat isolated childhood sparked a fierce desire to travel, leading her around the world from Sydney, Amsterdam, London and now her current home in New York.

Amy's introduction and development into Macrobiotic nutrition (and what it is) in Sydney: 15:00

(Macrobiotic nutrition is based on Japanese homecooking, simple, whole grains, nutrient rich, clean and pure foods, low in fat, gently cooked not always raw.)

Amy's career move to executive chef at Angelica's Kitchen, one of NYC's most famous and well established vegan restaurants. 22:30

Sustainable, ethical business practices with farmers is imperative, but so is developing relationships whenever possible with growers.

Letting vegetables inspire you and spark your creative ideas for recipes.

Amy on locally grown food: "Everything is so full of integrity and carefully raised, you really want to honour that, as a chef." 25:25

How the Union Square farmer's market keeps Amy connected to the earth, and to her roots growing up in nature. 30:50

Amy's advice on what to do in winter when you have restricted access to fresh, organic produce?

  • A well stocked pantry!
  • Focus on grains and beans, dried seaweed, and layer in fresh herbs which you might have easier access to
  • Use scallions and fresh parsley to liven up any plain meal
  • Oorder bulk and share with friends

Pure Green Pause: 37:05

Amy's food philosophy: 37:20

Getting inside writing and creating Amy's book: 41:15

"I just cooked and cooked and cooked."

The importance of soaking grains, beans, nuts and seeds: 54:25

How to be spontaneous in the kitchen, but still soak things ahead of time. 56:45

Amy's most important culinary influences: 60:24

"Nothing gives me more pleasure than sharing food."

Amy's holiday traditions: 65:00

"Gathering people around food is a nice way to enjoy it."

"Cooking more is the answer to so many of our problems!"

Other Links:

Angelica Kitchen

Amy's Website

Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge Stories

Steiner (Waldorf) educational systems