DEVRA GARTENSTEIN owns and runs the Patty Pan Grill, a vegetarian-vegan restaurant and take-out counter in Seattle, Washington. She is also a farmers' market vendor who can be found at local markets almost every day during the summer. Visit www.quirkygourmet.com THE AUTHOR SCOOP
If you had to boil the message of The Accidental Vegan down to one sentence, what would it be?
You don't have to be a vegetarian to eat vegetarian food, just like you don't have to be Thai to eat Thai food, and you don't have to be Mexican to eat Mexican food.
When did you know you were a writer?
When I was in third grade one of my teachers said, "You should never start a sentence with "and," unless you're a writer." And right then and there, I decided that's what I wanted to be.
What's the farthest you've ever traveled?
I once traveled to a small town in Poland thinking it was the birthplace of my great grandfather, but when I got home and double checked, it turned out I'd gone to the wrong town.
Any memorable kitchen disasters?
I once spilled half a bucket of tahini. That's twenty pounds of tahini. There's no good way to clean up twenty pounds of tahini.
What book do you re-read every few years?
I re-read Isak Dinesen's Babette's Feast, and then I watch the movie again, because it's every bit as good as the original story.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a book called Honest Food: A History of Eating Well. It's an account of the relationship between humans and food, from Paleolithic times until the present day.show more