With her legacy as the mind behind Hong Kong’s iconic plant-based restaurants Grassroots Pantry and Nectar, plant-based cooking has been at the heart of Chef Peggy Chan’s culinary career and environmental activism. Now, she has made her first foray into authorship, launching a new digital cookbook Provenance, described as an amalgamation of her personal journey, a dive into creating planet-friendly whole food dishes and each and every one of us can take meaningful climate action from our homes.
“Provenance is more than just a digital cookbook,” says the acclaimed chef, who now heads Grassroots Initiatives, a consultancy dedicated to driving sustainability within the hospitality industry. “It’s a culmination of everything we at Grassroots have done, packaged as a memoir and a guide to help you proactively participate in climate action.”
Announced before the turn of the new year with a Kickstarter campaign to support the launch, the new e-cookbook contains 80 tried-and-tested plant-based recipes from Chan’s own collection, from cinnamon buns to barbecued mushrooms, dumplings and creamy vegan linguine.
Other recipes include some of the most iconic dishes from Grassroots Pantry – beloved by omnivores and herbivores alike – such as her hedgehog mushroom popcorn “chicken” and raw blueberry no-cheesecake. Provenance also her personal tips and tools for everyone from first-time cooks to experienced foodservice businesses.
You can source and cook delicious plant based dishes at home, that takes our health and our planet’s health into consideration.Chef Peggy Chan
But more than that, Chan details the nutritional benefits, carbon footprint, shelf-life of ingredients and how to source your produce in the most climate-friendly way. It’s an exploration into the connection between food, sustainability and agriculture, says Chan, who dives into the research and science behind these interrelations between our plates and the planet in every single story and recipe she tells.
“You can source and cook delicious plant based dishes at home, that takes our health and our planet’s health into consideration.”
It’s a culmination of everything we at Grassroots have done, packaged as a memoir and a guide to help you proactively participate in climate action.Chef Peggy Chan
Aside from supporting Provenance, the Kickstarter campaign itself – which officially launched on December 26 for two months – will also go towards funding Chan’s next impact venture. Called Zero Foodprint Asia, the initiative will support carbon drawdown initiatives via a crowdfunding model to raise the funds from a few dollars from diners at participating conscious restaurants.
“Yes, we’ve been keeping ourselves busy this past year, so along with the consultancy, we have been spending a lot of time figuring out how to be most useful in assisting this great food system transformation,” Chan explains, who added that the purpose-driven Kickstarter campaign has already been selected as one of the platform’s Projects We Love, a curation of creative, impactful and innovative ideas featured on the website.
While more details will come as the initiative comes into fruition, Chan revealed that Zero Foodprint Asia will partner up with nonprofits Zero Foodprint and Carbonbase to pioneer the model in Hong Kong and across other parts of Asia in the coming months of 2021.
We have been spending a lot of time figuring out how to be most useful in assisting this great food system transformation.Chef Peggy Chan
“Our aim is to gather stakeholders within our food system and collectively combine our efforts to fund the transition towards regenerative agricultural practices on acres of land,” she says. “These endeavours will then contribute to reforms on a much larger scale through transparent means. ”
Provenance: The Principles Of Plant-Based Cookery is available to support through Kickstarter until February 26, 2021.
All images courtesy of Provenance / Grassroots Initiatives.