Dining at The Ravens: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea

Dining at The Ravens: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea

by Jeff Stanford, Joan Stanford

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941631652
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author


Jeff and Joan Stanford came west to Carmel California to find careers in education, agreeing to help manage a small inn while looking for work. Jobs were scarce, the United States was in recession, and they found themselves enjoying their guests and rehabilitating the property they managed. Looking to the future, they chose to continue inn-keeping, and by 1980 they were in Mendocino starting a family. Joan ran the front, while Jeff remodeled the inn and created their certified organic farm on the site of what had been known as the China Gardens during Mendocino's logging era.

The Inn allowed both of them to return to their former interests. Passionate about early education, Joan trained as a Montessori teacher which led her to discover the power of art to transform human experience. She enrolled in psychology at Sonoma State University and received an MA, specializing in Art Therapy. Today she is a registered art therapist, collagist, and educator.

Jeff recognized that the "state of realization" that so many sought in the movement of the 1970s and 80s must come from a new relationship with life, beginning in the kitchen, where decisions affect the practitioner and the planet. He became vegetarian as a first step to honor all life, not only the lives of his family, friends, and pets. He and Joan sought to create an inn that sat softly upon the earth. They created one of the first “green” bed and breakfast inns without realizing they were doing so.

Understanding that their Inn was a destination, Jeff and Joan wanted to provide the highest quality food to their guests, which Jeff began cooking in the early 1990s. The restaurant followed their philosophy serving a whole food, plant based dishes designed to rival the cuisine found at the highest rated restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. They discovered that many cooks can create great food, and they created a co-creative kitchen where all are invited to comment and tweak dishes. The final arbiter is Jeff, but the process is dynamic and assures that each person in the kitchen can express their creativity.

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Dining at The Ravens: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
Jeff and Joan Sanford moved to Mendocino, CA and purchased The Big River Lodge in the early '80s with dreams of creating a "stellar" resort and restaurant. As their family grew, so did their resort and gardens. During this time, Jeff became a vegetarian, and then later a vegan. In 1997, they opened The Ravens vegan restaurant, and it became a huge hit among vegans and non-vegans alike. Cue this cookbook. On the plus side, there are a lot of recipes in this book, and a lot of photos (a good thing for someone like me who is visual and needs a cookbook with pictures to entice me)! However I don't like to see a list of 30 ingredients, such as with the Seasonal Wild Mushroom Crepe. I prefer my recipes simpler for the most part. Nor do I like having to create several other things in order to make one dish, such as with the Eggplant Cannelloni (which requires you make a batch of Hemp Ricotta and a batch of marinara in order to make the dish). I'm more for the "fresh" style of food preparation, whereby it's mostly just chopped/sliced veggies, perhaps a grain, a fat like olive oil and some seasoning to make a dish. So I respect what they were doing here, the way they share their belief system and how The Ravens came to be. I think their recipes will do well to inspire people and show the potential to be found in vegan cooking. It simply isn't my style. 3 1/2 stars