The co-owner of a longtime vegetarian restaurant will present its latest cookbook full of meatless dishes at Creekside Books & Coffee in Skaneateles this weekend.

Moosewood Restaurant co-owner David Hirsch wants people to consider working in more meals without meats into their routines.

Hirsch, who has co-authored all 12 of the Moosewood Collective cookbooks, will speak about the Ithaca restaurant and the cookbook series, specifically the latest book, “Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.”

Moosewood opened in 1972, and has since become a regional institution.

“Ithaca is a good place for us to be with a community that shares our particular interest in food. The cookbooks and our reputation continue to support our popularity as a destination in the Finger Lakes that we are very grateful for,” Hirsch said. “Our clientele is multi-generational with a wide range of people who appreciate our offerings.”

Hirsch was at the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival in Skaneateles this summer for the first time in a few years. He wanted to return, so he reached out to Creekside owner Erika Davis to arrange a presentation.

His talk isn’t necessarily aimed at vegetarians or those people thinking of giving up meat altogether. The presentation will be a reminder that people can just move in that direction a little bit, for eating variety, health reasons or to save dining expenses.

“I really do hope people who are maybe already thinking of it think more about having meatless meals. You know, it doesn’t have to be a commitment, but maybe you have a meal without meat,” he said.

A parallel goal is to encourage people to work more fresh vegetables and fruits into their diets.

He described the restaurant’s cooking style as multiethnic and globally inspired. Cooks are concerned with nutrition and healthy eating, as well as stress the use of local products.

The most recently published cookbook deals with health. Past themes include books dedicated to desserts, simple suppers and cooking for a crowd.

“Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks have been collaborative efforts by up to as many as 12 cooks at the restaurant. I did a Kitchen Garden book solo, but that was not our usual,” he said.

Two of the Moosewood books have won James Beard Awards — “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home” and “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.”

“We are always evolving new ways to create recipes, whether that is a variation on a traditional dish or a new innovation, once we have a set theme for a book we outline the kind of material we’d like to see in it and not repeat recipes either,” Hirsch said. “Having a lot of chefs involved has worked well for us.”

Jessica Soule



If you go.

What: David Hirsch, author and co-owner of Moosewood Restaurant, will present harvest recipes, finger food samples and more at a book signing

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

Where: Creekside Books & Coffee, 35 Fennell St., Skaneateles

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