We are in the season for stocking fillers and though it’s never been easier to buy interesting things for fans of pop-culture genre, it’s sometimes tricky to get something original. You don’t want to swamp a beloved friend or relative with endless tiny deformed figurines of Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and the like, neither do you want to pigeon-hole anyone as a lover of one thing. Buying things for a geek can be tricky.Luckily one can rarely go wrong with a cook-book. All people need to eat and even those who don’t cook quite like to look at pictures of food, especially if they’ve been appropriately themed with something freaky or funny. The Geeky Chef Cookbook: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favourite Fantasy Foods does what it says on the tin: it takes food ideas from TV and Movies and turns them into something that you could conceivably reproduce in the kitchen. The Geeky Chef Cookbook Strikes Back is the second of Cassandra Reader’s fannish cookbooks. The first was simply called The Geeky Chef Cookbook, though perhaps re-printings will call it The Geeky Chef Cookbook: A New Hope. Reader has improved her approach slightly; these new recipes are designed with simplicity and reproducibility in mind. This is because presentation is an equally important part of the experience. Any fool could bake a cherry pie, but of course what you want is to produce something that looks like Norma’s cherry pie from Twin Peaks. This takes more time, so the recipe has been simplified and the photos are pretty spot on and explicit enough that you don’t need to awkwardly freeze frame a movie at just the right moment.
The Geeky Chef Cookbook Strikes Back is essentially cosplay cookery. It’s a guidebook for taking everyday ingredients and turning them into Wife Soup from Firefly or the White Dragon Noodles from Blade Runner. It takes the same ‘make do and improvise’ approach that cosplay culture does, and applies them to culinary delights. This does mean that appearance is more important than taste, any chef will tell you that most of the tasting is done with the eyes.Both books are essential for anyone who fancies hosting a themed party, or simply wants to delight costumed guests returning from a comic convention. Great fun and essential for the complete cosplayer.
THE GEEKY CHEF COOKBOOK STRIKES BACK / AUTHOR: CASSANDRA REEDER / PUBLISHER: RACE POINT PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW