The chefs at Dirty Candy thought it odd that vegetarian restaurants often attempt to mimic the flavors of meat dishes rather than play up the panoply of flavors that are already inherent in fruits and vegetables. To remedy this fact, they’ve created a menu that emphasizes these tastes—the spicy flavor of jalapeno in crunchy hush puppies, for instance, or the garlic granola and drunken fig jam that add a slight sweetness to the chard gnocchi. The chefs have even concocted ways to make vegetable desserts, such as the rosemary eggplant tiramisu and chocolate beet cake topped with beet and pear leathers. These innovative dishes earned Dirt Candy the title of "best vegetarian restaurant" from The Village Voice. They also stirred enough interest for the restaurant to print its own cookbook, which divulges the secrets of their signature dishes and explains which stage of mourning you’re in when you’re chopping an onion.