The Star Trek Cookbook
Written by Chelsea Monroe Cassel
Hardcover | $35.00
E-book | $16.99
Edited by Galerie Livres | 192 pages
Cookbook author and food stylist Chelsea Monroe-Cassel has made cookbooks for other major franchises (including game of thrones), but when she got the call to do a Star Trek cookbook, she was overjoyed — as a lifelong fan who grew up watching The next generation (and eventually every show in the franchise), it had been on his to-do list for years. (And yes, she’s also a fan of the 1999 cookbook of the same name written by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes, and points out that despite a few crossovers, her recipes are all new.)
She’s doing her fandom proud with this wonderful collection of Starfleet-sponsored, in-canon and beautifully written recipes. With everything from the familiar (Hasperat, Plomeek soup, Raktajino, Yamok sauce) to the less familiar (Andorian spice bread, Tarvokian powder cake). Not only does the book group them into appropriate sections (starters, breads, entrees, desserts, drinks, etc.), but it also ends with a Menu Suggestions section so you know exactly what to serve with these Denobulan sausages.
Of The original series at Lower decks
Monroe-Cassel was able to include everything up to and including picard and Lower deckswhich means there was no time to mine Prodigy and Strange new worlds for the dishes. The book still encompasses a wide variety of foods seen, heard or read, with recipes meticulously photographed, tasted and narrated in beautiful glossy pages, where you’ll find everything from Rigelian Chocolate Truffles to First Touch Salmon Sausage Pizza Bunnicorn.
“One of the challenges is always kind of the battle between making it pretty weird, but also making it accessible,” the author told TrekMovie. “I want to have ingredients that aren’t that hard to find, so people can really make it without having to drive three hours to get to a grocery store.” In line with the book’s writings in canon, she adds, “And if your replicator is down, you want to be able to do it with everything you’ve got.” She made a point of using the occasional unconventional ingredient more than once, to keep things convenient for both her and her readers.
One pip or four?
The book begins with a welcome to food-curious cadets, and each recipe has a difficulty rating of 1 to 4 pips, with 4 being the most difficult. For nervous beginners, Monroe-Cassel recommends starting with the drinks, either Romulan Ale or Red Leaf Tea. Beer is “a very simple, very easy and tasty drink” and tea is “really nice with breakfast” and “fun with flavors”.
Playful is the right word: the veteran cookbook author strove to use real food to create delicious dishes, but staying true to Star Trek, which meant stretching his culinary and photographic wings a bit. “My usual comfort zone is sort of medieval dim lighting on a slab of wood,” she told us, so incorporating Star Trek’s bright colors was a new experience. She mentions that it took a long time to get Starfleet food rations – those colored specks seen in The original series— to his satisfaction. “One of my rules is that you can’t just – if you’re making Star Wars, blue milk, you can’t just put food coloring in the milk and call it blue milk like it’s literally blue milk, but that’s not a recipe. And likewise, you can’t just paint food coloring on melon and call it, you know, whatever name to debate, which I hope I have maybe settled a bit with my top notes.
Those who got away: Jumja sticks and Captain Pike
His big regret? Jumja sticks, seen on Deep Space Ninethe walk. “It’s so disappointing because I made a batch of them, and they were perfect. And I apparently didn’t write down what I did. And I could never reproduce them again, pun intended. That devastated me, I was right at the submission deadline, I was still trying to do them again. And so this is the one that got away from me.
Not much else, except for all the goodies that come out of Captain Pike’s quarters in season 1 of Strange new worlds. Monroe-Cassel could probably do an entire Pike cookbook – nothing special the episode where “there’s a plate of canopies going around, and they looked amazing” – and loves the idea of, say, do a side-by-side cooking demo with Anson Mount on the Star Trek cruise one day.
The problem with… spatchcocking
But in the meantime, we are left with his cookbook, which sometimes takes risks by combining old Trek with new, like the Quadrotriticale Salad, inspired by The original series “The Trouble With Tribbles” but enhanced with a tentacle look as seen in Season 1 of Discovery. There’s another tribble-related dish that Monroe-Cassel considers one of his proudest accomplishments: the Spatchcocked Tribble.
“One of my favorite things about Star Trek is the Short Trek on the tribbles [“The Trouble With Edward”] and the origin story of the Tribbles, basically,” she says. “And it makes me laugh every time I think about it, that there’s this poor well-meaning but absolutely crazy scientist trying to solve the starvation issues on a planet that’s taking over the whole ship and that’s is just that the tribbles are a problem forever, right? But I actually built a replicator for this photo, Original series-era because I really wanted to, to look like the part. She said it took forever to get the lighting perfect. “It’s like crazy stuff, but oh my god, it’s really fun and worth it in the end.”
Over 70 recipes from across the franchise
With over 70 new recipes from all over Star Trek—and yes, Monroe-Cassel includes dishes from novels and video games—this book is both a fun read and a great addition to your kitchen shelf as well as a collection. of Star Hiking Art Books. Star Trek is “just a nice world, you know, it’s a nice place to be,” she says. “I think one of the interesting things is that it kind of shows us the promise of the best that humanity can achieve. It’s a hopeful future. That optimistic and invigorating feeling is present on every page of his book, whether you’re there as a chef or just a spectator.
Visit the Chelsea Monroe-Cassel website.
On sale Tuesday
The Star Trek Cookbook will be released on Tuesday, September 20. You can pick it up from Amazon in hardcover for $35.00 and as a Kindle eBook for $31.50.
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