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The sequel to the bestselling Dungeons & Dragons cookbook contains a secret weapon

Roll for initiative against one of the stars of America’s Test Kitchen

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Bits of chicken and roast onion sitting on a green dinner plate, next to a tomatillo salsa in a red bowl.
Emerald Chicken, with chicken thighs substituted for chicken breast, is a spicy dish with an incredible texture.
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Since its debut in 2020, Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook has earned quite a reputation — both at the New York Times, where it ranks among the bestselling cookbooks of the decade, and with my 10-year-old daughter, who swears by the simplicity of its one-pan buttermilk biscuit recipe. Now its authors are back with a sequel titled Heroes’ Feast: Flavors of the Multiverse, a joyous romp through the dishes of the D&D multiverse. I’m happy to report that not only is it a great read, but it has the potential to level up the whole family when it comes to kitchen prowess.

What made the original such a magical artifact for me were the thoughtful and at times daring recipes by Adam Ried. Fans of PBS will know him as the gadget guy on America’s Test Kitchen. He’s also senior editor for Cook’s Illustrated, and when he’s not testing cheese graters or running down freelancers, he’s writing recipes on the side. Thankfully, Ried puts the same kind of care into these dishes as his on-air product reviews. Just as before, I found them to be both approachable and repeatable — even for the youngest members of the party.

But Ried goes further in Flavors of the Multiverse than he did in the original Heroes’ Feast. The recipes feel even more thematically entwined with the lore of D&D. While some collections hail from familiar, Earth-like locations such as Dragonlance’s wintry Solamnia and the vampire Strahd’s Eastern European-styled Barovia, others are quite a bit more exotic. He’s dreamed up dishes from Sigil, the Feywild, and even The Rock of Bral, an island port floating in outer space.

That expert curation is enhanced by the crack team of authors who get top billing on the cover: Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Michael Witwer, and Sam Witwer. It’s the same creative team behind Art & Arcana and Lore & Legends, the definitive visual histories of 50 years of rich D&D history, and their presence imbues the cookbook with impressive authenticity.

Take, for instance, one of my new favorite recipes: Emerald Chicken. It’s a spicy mélange of split chicken breasts and homemade roasted tomatillo salsa, bound together with a two-fisted umami bomb of wilted spinach and gently sautéed chicken livers. Not in a million years would I have thought to put all that together into one dish. Ried makes it sparkle, while Newman, Peterson, and the Witwer brothers all helpfully explain how it migrated from Sigil, the City of Doors, all the way to Purskul’s Owlroost Head Inn and beyond to my kitchen. It’s the perfect mix of delightful fan service and step-by-step culinary exploration, with flavors and textures that are out of this world.

A roast pork butt sitting on a white platter.
A beautifully seared Whole Roast Barovian Boar, made from a bone-in pork butt. The port wine sauce is divine.
Photo: Matt Patches/Polygon

Of course, Flavors of the Multiverse has yet another narrative trick up its sleeve — a band of plucky adventurers who narrate their own culinary journey in a series of humorous journal entries scattered throughout the book. Taking as its inspiration the recent batch of character-driven D&D rulebooks, including Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, it’s a fun and frivolous thread that ties the whole book together.

Regardless of your tabletop role-playing game of choice, Heroes’ Feast: Flavors of the Multiverse comes highly recommended. You can pre-order it right now at your local bookseller and online, where it has a cover price of $35. Expect it to hit retail on Nov. 7, just in time for the holidays.

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