Chef Annie Somerville shares fantastic recipes inspired by California’s famed Tassajara Zen retreat.

By Kristin Donnelly
April 26, 2012

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Tassajara means “the place where meat is hung to dry.” That’s ironic, since Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in California’s Santa Lucia Mountains, is the source of many famous cookbooks—including a 1973 vegetarian bible preaching the goodness of brown rice and lentils. Today Tassajara is more polished than hippie, with a new, solar-powered yoga and meditation center and a serious schedule of classes. San Francisco chef Annie Somerville of Greens (who lived at Tassajara in the ’70s) and gardener Wendy Johnson teach a cooking class together. “In the past, the food at Tassajara was much heavier, trying to compensate for its lack of meat,” Somerville says. Today the food is lighter, as illustrated by the excellent vegan recipes here.

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Carmel Valley, California; Cabins from $160 per night, all meals included.  

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