top of page
Top of Blog
Exotic refreshing cocktails next to book and straw hat by the pool on vacation._edited.jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Dining at the Ravens

Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea

ISBN: 9781941631652

Publisher: BenBella Books

Publication Date: 2/9/2016

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars + At The Ravens, dinner is more than just a meal. It’s a feast for your spirit. Located on the Mendocino coast at the only vegan resort in the United States, The Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn by the Sea embodies a mindful, compassionate, and sustainable dining experience in an enchanting and unforgettable setting. Now in Dining at The Ravens, Jeff and Joan Stanford, the Inn and restaurant founders, bring the Ravens culinary experience into your home. Teeming with beautiful photographs, Dining at The Ravens features more than 150 delicious vegan recipes and shares the charming history of the Inn and restaurant, cooking tips for perfect recipe execution, and even inspiration for creating your own garden. Discover one of the restaurant’s most popular breakfast dishes, Citrus Polenta with Braised Garden Greens and a Creamy Toasted Cashew Sauce, and many others, such as: Ravens Sea Palm Strudel Indian-Spiced Polenta Napoleon Mushroom Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Burger Ravens Spicy Peanut Curry Sea Palm Sweet Summer Corn Bisque Peach Huckleberry Cobbler Pull up a seat and find out why vegans and non-vegans alike flock to The Ravens for an extraordinary dining experience.

My Review

A special thank you to BenBella Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Jeff and Joan Stanford have created a work of art! An artful masterpiece. A sanctuary for the soul, a premier destination, an organic farm and gardens infused detail, love, care, and the highest quality healthy plant-based vegan cuisine. Where living a conscious life literally begins in the kitchen. Not only is their historic farm and eco-resort, Stanford Inn By the Sea, (from 1997) the only vegan resort in the United States, the stunning Mendocino seaside bed and breakfast inn is a luxury retreat, matched with– one of the top dining experiences in the world. The owners chose to make ethical, healthful cuisine created from plants, seaweed and fungi raised or collected in the most sustainable manner possible; A whole-food plant-based diet, setting them apart from other vegan restaurants. Their new cookbook DINING AT THE RAVENS: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea,celebrates that tradition! Their garden serves a dual purpose: furnishing visitors with fresh organic produce and flowers, while setting a thriving example of environmentally sound farming practices. At The Ravens, plant oils replace animal-based products such as butter, cream, lard, and eggs, making the dishes more environmentally sustainable and ethical. Their philosophy The success of a dish depends on four criteria: • Quality of ingredients • Care of their preparation (cooking times) • Presentation of the dish • Most importantly, tasting From the owners and staff, The Ravens, known for their attention to detail, offering a remarkable and magical stay. From the grounds, the accommodations, and their fabulous food. They have created a haven, and sharing it with the world. From their sensitivity to nature and environment, gardening, plants, to their lifestyle—a vision come to life. As a vegan, I am personally always looking for good vegan and plant-based cookbooks. DINING AT THE RAVENS is outstanding! Beautifully packaged, stunning food photography, informative, with delicious and healthy easy to follow recipes by BenBella Books. The extraordinary cookbook is broken down in parts: Part One: The History.

How the couple converted a motel into a Four diamond inn and eco-resort dedicated to living sustainably. (loved this part) From raising two children, the animals and their organic farm and inn-- to the AAA Four-Diamond Inn, today. About the Stanford Inn and The Ravens, The Philosophy, Tips for Cooking Success, and Serving Vegan Cuisine. Part Two: The Scrumptious Recipes: • Morning Foods • Breads & Baked Goods • Sauces, Dips, & Spreads • Appetizers & Sides • Salads & Dressings • Soups • Entrees • Desserts

Other Resources: • Pantry Basic • Conversion Charts • About the authors • Online Resources DINING AT THE RAVENS is an extension of their ideals and their vegan lifestyle with delicious recipes. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have tried many recipes and cannot wait to try more. No need to feel left out, with your vegan lifestyle—nothing ordinary here. Treat yourself. "The beautiful truth is that the more environmentally friendly and ethical a food is, the healthier it is for our bodies." A little of The Ravens Restaurant brought to your own kitchen and home. Whether you are a foodie, vegan, vegetarian, or on the fence and want to make healthier food choices - this is for you. Highly Recommend! Top Vegan Cookbook of 2016, as well as the Stanford Inn Eco-Resort.

Review Links:

On a Personal Note:

I had the pleasure of staying at this enchanting inn years ago, and was so wowed with the delicious food, and the setting (the great cycling)---coming away with an overall memorable and unforgettable experience!

Was delighted to discover their new cookbook DINING AT THE RAVENS: The next best thing if you cannot experience the real thing. You can recreate recipes, from the privacy of your own home. They provide all the tools. A vegan, with serious food allergies for many years, the transition years to an organic plant-based diet, has been nothing but a positive experience as related to my overall health. In addition, am a consultant (25+ years ) for the hotel industry (including bed and breakfast inns, resorts, boutique hotels, independent, and brand), as well as a former innkeeper for many years, working with investors, and the food and travel industry. Today, my clients are very focused on the traveler with social media and reviews, with top topics: vegans, vegetarian, allergies, plant-based diets, organic, and a customized healthy menu. The dietary needs of travelers. Promoting wellness, without the additives and preservatives, which is causing so many serious food allergies. (I speak from experience). Guests are more sophisticated, knowledgeable, and educated about their food choices than in year's past. There is no need to give up or compromise your healthy lifestyle when traveling. Many accommodations are getting serious about their menus offering diverse selections of hearty and healthful meals. The Raven is the leader. (recommending the book to all my clients).

Advance Praise

“From one of the most magical places on earth comes the cookbook every guest has been waiting for. . . . Now, everyone can enjoy the inn’s spectacular cuisine—from the Citrus Polenta and Ravens Caesar Salad to the Seasonal Wild Mushroom Crepe and my favorite dessert of all time, the Pecan Torte. If heaven exists in the form of a hardcover cookbook, this is it.” —Colleen Holland, publisher of VegNews Magazine

“There is no place like the Stanford Inn by the Sea. Joan and Jeff have built an amazing business rooted in compassion, sustainability and wellness . . . This book is an extension of their ideals and vegan lifestyle, and the delicious recipes show that living this way is enjoyable and enriching.” —Gene Baur, president and cofounder of Farm Sanctuary

“When I stayed at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, everything was breathtaking . . . But what made it truly remarkable was the food at the Ravens Restaurant. I hope that one day you too will be able to visit this extraordinary place. In the meantime, the next best thing is bringing Ravens to your home. The recipes in this book prove that indulgence and nourishment perfectly commingle.” —Joshua Katcher, adjunct professor at Parsons The New School, editor at, and founder and creative director of

“The inspired recipes within these pages showcase how accessible and sumptuous plant-based eating can be. And now you can bring the sublime experience of dining at The Stanford Inn into your own kitchen. From inspired gourmet dishes to wholesome comfort food, there’s something here for everyone—and it’s all amazingly delicious and cruelty-free!” —Jenny Brown, cofounder and executive director at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and author of The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals

Finally, something different in the world of vegan cookbooks! While 30-minute weeknight meals have their place, sometimes you just want to roll up your sleeves and cook the comforting, delicious kind of food you’d get at a bed and breakfast. . . . From homemade breads, to luxurious sauces and mains, to brunches you’ll want to share with friends—it’s all here. And it’s all healthy, whole, and compassionate.” —Matt Frazier, vegan ultramarathoner and author of No Meat Athlete

“The recipes in Dining at the Ravens are a perfect mirror to the experience of staying at Stanford Inn: comforting, familiar, magical and delightfully surprising. The tantalizing array of tastes showcased in this book are diverse enough to seduce the most seasoned gourmand, yet simple and approachable enough to be enjoyed by new fans of plant-based cuisine.” —Jason Wrobel, Celebrity Vegan Chef and host of How to Live to 100 on Cooking Channel

Stanford Inn Escape: Nourish Your Body & Soul with their NEW Vegan Cookbook

Real Organic Cuisine. Conscientiously Prepared

The Award Winning Ravens Restaurant is celebrated for …

  • Local – Dishes based on locally harvested products from seaweed to chanterelles.

  • Organic – Our ingredients are sustainable and organic and most produce is from regional organic growers or the Stanford Inn’s California Certified Organic Farm.

  • Conscious – Vegan cuisine – Products carefully selected and prepared to support sustainability.

  • Regard for the Land – Wine list comprised primarily of wines produced from certified organic vineyards, biodynamic vineyards, or those using sustainable, traditional farming practices.

  • Recycling – All food wastes are composted and the compost dug back into garden beds. All glass, papers, and cardboard are sent to recycling.

Ravens Restaurant is independently owned and lovingly cared for by Jeff and Joan Stanford.

About the Authors

the stanford  inn

Welcome to Stanford Inn by the Sea … an Eco-Resort on the Mendocino Coast. Moving here in 1980, we were changed by the creative and healing energies of the land. Since then, we have worked to assure our guests have an opportunity to experience what we experience: a special place that enlivens and inspires.

We believe in creating contexts to provide wonderful experiences for guests of the Inn, paddlers and bicyclers at Catch A Canoe & Bicycles, too!, clients of Massage in the Forest and diners at the Ravens.We are excited by guests visiting the inn. For us it is as if relatives and friends were coming who want to experience our home at its best.

Jeff and Joan Stanford

We too want our guests to experience Mendocino at its best.We treat our guests as we do our family. We provide outstanding equipment at Catch A Canoe & Bicycles, too!; the finest massage therapists on the Mendocino Coast led by Leslee Huber; comprehensive strategies for joyful living at our Mendocino Center for Living Well led by Sid Garza-Hillman; and one of North America’s most acclaimed vegan restaurants, The Ravens.

The Inn manifests our commitment to live mindfully so that all might live well.We look forward to sharing with you the magic of Stanford Inn by the Sea and the awe-inspiring Mendocino Coast! The History

–Joan and Jeff Stanford






bottom of page