A Gothic Cookbook

By Ella Buchan and Dr Alessandra Pino, with illustrations by Lee Henry

A feast for the senses: an illustrated cookbook inspired by classic and contemporary Gothic texts.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Lucky for some

We’ve been a bit quiet lately but, now that we’re very (very) close to reaching our target and releasing our monster into the wild, here’s a long overdue update.

The main motivation behind the book is our love of, and fascination with, Gothic literature in all its dark, complex and often indefinable glory, which is why it’s been tricky to narrow down the titles we’re covering. Some, such as Dracula, Frankenstein and Rebecca, were obvious choices, as classics with strong food motifs. With others, it’s been a case of poring over every page and working out which will yield the tastiest insights and recipes.

And we’ve finally landed on our lucky thirteen, which are:

  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley: plant-based recipes and a shepherd’s breakfast bake, inspired by a vegetarian ‘monster’
  • The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins: gluttonous villains and Count Fosco’s creepily moreish vanilla and chocolate bon bons
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte: a cake inspired by Grace Poole’s “private bottle” of gin, and another – seed cake – that represents a small act of kindness
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde: French classics and untouched feasts, from the perfect omelette to chaud-froid
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker: Mina’s paprika hendl and a salad invented by Stoker’s widow
  • Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier: what ravioli reveals about social standing, and the ultimate afternoon tea spread from “very special gingerbread” to fillings for “sandwiches of a mysterious nature”
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers: bittersweet memories and how food evokes – yet can’t quite heal – them, from a chocolate sundae to simple suppers provided by Stringer, the silent stranger others seek solace from
  • The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson: peach shortcakes, paranormal picnic spreads, and spatchcock chicken with radish-top pesto (based on “a bird, and radishes from the garden”)
  • Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin: how malignant witchcraft worms its way in via food, including a mousse with a “chalky undertaste” and our tasty take on that “chalky” chocolate mousse
  • The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter: food and feasts that reflect cruelty, gluttony and a craving for comfort, including a cider and sausage casserole and a dish inspired by “a Mexican dish of pheasant with hazelnuts and chocolate”
  • The Woman in Black, Susan Hill: the pleasure and poignancy of dining alone, from pub feasts to a complete loss of appetite as bad omens creep in
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison: a ghost’s hunger for “sweet things”, and food prepared for guests who never come
  • The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez: sapphic vampires with distant memories of food and an immortal love of Champagne

Find us on Instagram and Twitter @AGothicCookbook – we’d love to hear your thoughts on our selections. And please do continue to share our Unbound page with anyone who might be interested.

Thank you, as always, for your support. We’re very close to reaching our target, so it won’t be too long before you’ll be hosting glorious Gothic dinner parties and whipping up an afternoon tea spread that would please even Mrs Danvers (maybe).

Alessandra, Ella & Lee

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Philippa Manasseh
 Philippa Manasseh says:

No steak tartare ?

posted 15th June 2022

Alessandra Pino
 Alessandra Pino says:

Now that's an idea, Philippa!

posted 15th June 2022

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