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Lust For Leaf: A Hot Knives Book Launch Party July 14th!

Vegetarian and vegan cooking has never looked more appealing and accessible than Lust for Leaf, the new cookbook by the witty and irreverent Hot Knives duo of Alex Brown and Evan George.

To mark the release of their new cookbook, Poketo will be hosting a launch party and book signing for Hot Knives on Sunday, July 14th from 2-5pm. Alex and Evan will share excerpts from their book, dish out tips on throwing the perfect summer party and perform a short demo on “How to Make Booze Holes” from their “Sweets” chapter.

No cookbook launch will also be complete without good food, so they will be bringing in their favorite vegan baker, Clara Cakes. Clara Cakes will be serving up some baked treats alongside an interpretation of a recipe from the book. This event is free and open to the public, so we hope that you will come down with your friends and family for a delicious afternoon of fun!

Today, we find out more about Alex and Evan – how Hot Knives came to be, their food philosophy, and how wit, humor and music play a part in their cooking. There’s never a dull moment in the Hot Knives kitchen! RSVP on our Facebook here.

Hot Knives Book Release Party
Date: July 14 2013 (Sunday)
Time: 2pm-5pm
Location: Poketo Store, 820 E. 3rd Street, Downtown LA.
Phone: 213-537-0751

1. Tell us more about how you guys met and started working together.

Our working partnership has long been fermenting. The two of us met in August of 2000 during the first week of classes at Occidental College in Eagle Rock. Since we were both walking around campus wearing T-shirts for bands like KMFDM and Joy Division and My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult we immediately bonded over our mutual love for sludgy goth music. And since we shared a room together through college, we ended up making meals together often. We’d commandeer the communal dorm kitchen and cook for co-eds. This is likely where we developed a proclivity for one-upping each other’s ideas. Then we both got jobs in the college mess hall as prep cooks. When we went on beer runs with our fake IDs we started experimenting with top shelf beer. All of this led up to us starting an alternative newspaper column and blog in 2005 dedicated to our cooking and drinking exploits.

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2. How did you guys come to call yourselves ‘Hot Knives’?

Ah yes. Our fondness for the double entendre… Around the same time that we started the blog, Evan was living with a party animal who worked at Amoeba Records in Hollywood and would always bring home half the store’s employees for ragers in the living room at all hours of the night. After one late night, Evan woke up to go to work at a restaurant and found his prized Japanese sushi knife stuck in a tree, where it had been hacked into the bark after someone had used it to smoke hash (“hot knives” refers to the act of heating hash on a knife blade and huffing the vapors). Our first column and blog post was actually a series of aphrodisiac recipes so the Hot Knives moniker was also a nice suggestion that we were Romeos of the kitchen…

3. What is the Hot Knives food philosophy?

It’s a fun blend of contradictions. Our food is mostly vegan, all vegetarian, wholesome and natural but not neccesarily health conscious, in fact it’s pretty indulgent, and definitely smart-ass at times. We’re obsessed with farmers market produce and all that but the real guiding principle behind what we do is not an ethical or moral one, but an aesthetic one. We value cooking that brings people together — hence our recent focus on party foods — but not food that is straightforward or comfort fare, we believe food ideas should push boundaries otherwise you’re just following other people’s recipes.

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4. You’re known for your irreverent approach to food, and your recipes have really catchy names – what roles do wit and humor play in your cooking?

It’s a huge part, and not just in naming a recipe at the end of the process. Sometimes the idea for a dish starts as nothing more than a joke or an insane idea or a play on words, and it just develops from there. We sort of always shoot for “high concept meets potty humor.”

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5. You’ve paired recipes with music to cook along to…how does music inspire you in the kitchen?

Actually we don’t need music to inspire us in the kitchen. We could jam in absolute silence. But it’s a matter of fact that if you have the choice between smashing lemongrass on your kitchen counter by yourself or smashing it along to Sister Nancy, why not be smashing to Sister Nancy? We’ve paired all our recipes with beer and song pairings since we first started blogging back in 2005. It was a sort of calling card we used to show people that you don’t have to be into Pinot Noir and Brazillian samba to be into cooking. Since then lots of other people have started pairing music with recipes. We still think we go a little further than most in our methods for finding the right song. The LA Weekly wrote a whole article about our precise technics…been something of a calling card ever since, and although lots of other food bloggers and recipe writers do it now.

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Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more of this interview this week. Calendar July 14th, 2-5pm to meet Alex and Evan here at Poketo… see you all soon!

Hot Knives Book Release Party
Date: July 14 2013 (Sunday)
Time: 2pm-5pm
Location: Poketo Store, 820 E. 3rd Street, Downtown LA.
Phone: 213-537-0751

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