Heroes' Feast

What is this Cook Book?

This is an official Dungeons and Dragons cook book with the official Wizards of the Coast license as it features recipes and themed D&D information in its pages. One of the things that I love about this book is the amazing photography that accompanies the recipes and graces the pages of this cook book. There are 6 lovely images that set the fantasy mood before you even get to the table of contents. One of my favorite image pieces of the book is opposite of the table of contents and features different cooking spices on a Celtic table with antlers.

As a lover of D&D, TTRPG and Fantasy I was very excited to have a cook book that focused on the cuisines of some of the most common ethnicities of the D&D world: Human, Elven, Dwarven, Halfling along with two sections called uncommon cuisine followed by Elixirs & Ales.

Before the Recipes

This book features an introduction that poses the question of What is Dungeons and Dragons? for it is possible that avid cooks may have picked up the text for the food featured vs. the meaning behind the recipes. As the book states on page XII "D&D is the food of the imagination" and I enjoy that this book does a great combination of that; food of the imagination with true recipes to bring the imagination to life. Even in the introduction it states that each of these dishes could be used to help enhance your table game by bringing your character's favorite dishes to life; as table top gaming is built off of community and role play as much as it is on battling the monsters of your DM's creations. I would also like to note that this book does not just focus on D&D world of the Forgotten Realms specifically and can be used for many a brave adventuring party made of different worlds. Some other ttrpg settings mentioned include Greyhawk, Eberron, Dragonlance and mentions in the intro that the food can be also be adapted to Athas in Dark Sun to Barovia in Ravenloft.

The introduction parts of the book also gives an "adventuring equipment" with a list of some of the cooking tools you may need to complete some of the recipes in the book. The book is separated into categories based on some of the different ethnicities of the fantasy world and each grouping has a variety of culinary pieces to create.

On pages XXVI & XXVII there is a book "excerpt" from the "Codex of Eldritch Cuisine" from the Faerun fantasy library of Candle keep that gives some great cooking advice that I highly recommend. Though #1 says use magic I agree that you should keep your blades and utensils sharp to make things easy to chop/dice/etc. as dull tools make cooking more of a chore (and dangerous) and this should be a fun experience. I also agree that cleaning as you cook, planning ahead and making sure you have the right equipment BEFORE starting a recipe are all valuable advice as well.

Questing with Food

The first part of your quest of making tasty food is making sure that you have all of the ingredients needed to make the recipes of your choosing. Each recipe page has a bolded title so you know what it is you are looking at, as many of the recipes are paired with a photograph of the finished product in a stylized image of what it may look like in an inn/tavern or fantasy setting. Lots of wooden bowls, spoons and cast iron is used to present the food in beautiful arrangements. If you weren't hungry before, you will be after seeing these images.

With each recipe there is a small introduction to the dish, on the side it tells you how many people it shall serve (averages on 4 people), each of the ingredients needed and their amounts, and finally there is the written directions on how to cook the food and in what order for that particular dish. There are also green "Cook's Note" on some of the recipes as well that has some tip, tricks and things to note.

There is a little bit of everything from fish/sea food, to red beef and poultry, to dishes of greens. There are dishes with different protein types along with soups and breads that can be added to make a feast or used as individual meals.

Food From Fantasy to Reality

A great addition to this cook book is the menus featured from legendary inns and taverns such as "The Yawning Portal" in Waterdeep (pg 48), "The Inn of the Last Home" seated in its vallenwood tree in Solace (pg 80), "Celestial Vista Restaurant" that crowns part of Skyway in Eberron's City of Sharn (pg 111) and "The Green Dragon Inn" from Greyhawk (pg 144). In every section there is also a few page introduction to that specific ethnic cuisine and race to help give a feeling of what you might expect (such as the elves looking for food sourced from the environment).

The Human Cuisine section has 19 recipes followed by the menu for the Yawning Portal. In this section is Traveler's Stew which both Dm Bork and I greatly enjoyed. Don't have a ton of time to cook? Try out the Iron Rations that requires no actual cooking but a gathering of cheeses, meats, nuts and fruits to create a delicious finger food delight (I personally have enjoyed having Iron Rations on a charcuterie board during a gaming session).

The Elven Cuisine section is pages 50-79 followed by the menu from The "Inn of the Last Home" (pg 80). In this area you will find 14 dishes of the lighter and more nature based variety. Here you can find rations but instead of the human iron rations you will get Quith-Pa (page57) and Feywild eggs (a lovely egg bake with cheese and herbs... I am one to say more cheese the better). The presentation of the Wood Elf Forest Salad on pages 62 & 63 is quite the fantasy presentation with edible flowers on top making you feel like you are eating in Fey Spring Court. Drow Mushroom Steaks and Qualinesti Vegetable Stew are two more of the vegetarian dishes presented in this cook book.

The Dwarven Cuisine is featured 82-11 and features 13 dishes with true dwarven feeling. We have done the bangers and Smash, the amazingly creamy Potato Leek Soup, the extremely easy to make Dwarven Flatbread and the Black Pudding as a complete feast for us and some of our ttrpg friends. The Miner's Pie is also an easy to make version of Shepards pie and easily made left overs for Dm Bork and I so we could enjoy two days of this feast piece. There is also duck and tempura in this section as well.

Halfling Cuisine graces the pages of 112-145 with 12 dishes labeled "Small and Practical". These recipes include community fondue cheese, a light stuffed-egg battered toast that is great for any breakfasting halfling, a tomato broth with a paired melted cheese sandwich that is going to grace my kitchen more often now that the fall weather is turning cooler. This also has a honeyed ham with pineapple gravy that will be coming to the table for Yuletide as it boasts a serving size of 10-14 with its paired "Heartlands Rose Apple and Blackberry Pie."

With the Uncommon Cuisine (146-177) there are 11 dishes that focus on other ethnicities and monster based recipes that wouldn't fit in other sections. Some of these include "orc" bacon, and abyssal chicken kebabs and twice-baked cockatrice wings. Maybe you have a gnome member who makes their great-great-great aunt's deep gnome trillimac pods for you all. Another dessert that deserves some attention is the Barovian Butterscotch Pudding on pages 171-172 with a great stylized photo of the end product with skulls, candles and a scotch decanter surrounding the delicious looking puddings.

The last but not any less important section is the Elixers and Ales that are in the final chapter from pages 178-199. There are 13 drinks that range both non-alcoholic and alcoholic alike. Do you enjoy a good tea? This chapter starts with two homemade teas: a lemon, mink ginger tea called Par-Salian's Tea (183) and a second called Mushroom Tea that is described as and Underdark "after-dinner broth of simmering mushrooms" (184). There are also meads, wines, ciders and mixed cocktails to explore as well for those who like to do fantasy mixology.

Planning Your Own Feast

If you love ttrpgs and love to cook I highly recommend this book. The recipes are very straight forward and easy to follow. I cannot stress how important it is to plan ahead what you want to cook for serious meals. Some of the dishes you can possibly cook with what you have in your pantry but a majority of the recipes call for specific items that you may not keep readily on hand. Dm Bork had to Amazon order a few specific ingredients that we couldn't find in any of our local shops.

I also want to say that it is also ok to improvise if you have some cooking skill as well. The recipes are really well made but do not be afraid to use your own creativities or adjust to your own taste palate.

I kindly remind the readers who use the cook book to be aware of each of the time frames that the dishes take to cook. Unlike some conventional recipes that have cook and prep time written at the top of the recipe cards, these dishes you will have to read the texts to find out cooking times. Some of the desserts also need 4-24 hrs to rest so if you are planning a feast with friends make sure that you have done some of the prep work or pre make some of the dishes if you pick items that need more/less time than others to create. This is especially important if you are planning on serving everything together in a feast style at your table.

Last Thoughts of The Fox

I absolutely love the cook book and the great times that it has created. Each of the recipes that we have created has been easy to follow, relatively straight forward and has created an amazing cooking experience. Dm Bork and I have done some of these for our dinners together and we even had a Heroes' Feast cooking day with friends where we tried out different recipes together and made a day of it.

Almost every recipe is paired with a photograph that shows what the finished product should look like. I found it really neat that each of the sections had a well created and stylized menu that believably would be from each of the legendary taverns and restaurants that grace the ttrpg worlds.

No matter your cooking needs there are a variety of recipes inside of this book to help complete a feast for your weary and hungry adventuring party. Want to try the Potato Leek Soup (pg 97) but want something to go with it? Try making the Yawning Portal Buttermilk Biscuits (pg 31) or the Dwarven Flatbread (pg 103) to complement it. The Black Pudding has been the culprit of late night energy (the fox had fennec zoomies) as this dessert boasts 1/4 cup of espresso powder. Have a pickier eater who only wants a more familiar hamburger? Well the Tavern "steak" provides an upgraded version to try.

This is an officially licensed cook book with the official Wizards of the Coast seal. Created by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson and Michael Witwer with recipes by Adam Ried and photographs by Ray Katchatorian. This book was published by Ten Speed Press. Copy Right 2020. All of the images in the blog article were taken by Dm Wolfsfox during our various cooking evenings using The Heros' Cookbook. Get your own copy from your local friendly game store, online or other stores (like Target)