New cookbook transforms horror movies into terrifying food art
Horror Caviar, the first cookbook from A24, features recipes inspired by horror movies, from creatives including Laila Gohar and Chloe Wise, alongside essays by Carmen Maria Machado, Stephanie LaCava, and more
As feelings go, horror and hunger have a lot in common. They are expressions of our most primordial instincts, we experience them in our gut, and they are capable of inspiring great art. Case in point, Horror Caviar, a new cookbook that features terrifying and tantalising recipes inspired by cult horror movies.
Horror Caviar: horror movies on a plate
The first cookbook from independent film company A24, Horror Caviar feeds your physical, aesthetic, and intellectual appetites with exuberantly ghoulish imagery photographed by Justin J Wee, and recipes from the likes of food stylist Laila Gohar and artist Chloe Wise, alongside essays examining the role of food in horror movies.
Highlights include a recipe by Yardy founder DeVonn Francis for an ‘Aspic Tower Studded with Insect Candy’, inspired by Suspiria, the 1977 horror about a witchy Berlin ballet school. Or chef Jen Monroe’s ‘Watermelon Sake Gelée Goldfish Pond’, inspired by the Japanese classic House (1977) and featuring jelly fish sculptures swimming in a pool of watermelon juice and cucumber garnishes.
Finish things off with some ‘Brain Cake’ for dessert and indulge in a cocktail inspired by the stomach-busting creature in Alien made from warm vegan horchata, amaro and instant coffee.
All these recipes sit alongside essays from a series of singular writers. Film critic AS Hamrah uses one of the most absurdly brilliant lines in horror movie history – ‘I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum’ – to kick off an examination of the horror genre’s complex portrayal of American consumerism.
Carmen Maria Machado pens a tribute to the many terrifying guises a seemingly innocuous kitchen appliance – the refrigerator – can take when captured on film.
Horror Caviar is an inventive take on the traditional cookbook that is well suited to movie fanatics and foodie fiends alike. As director Ti West says in the book’s introduction, ‘in the same way that a good meal brings people together, the best horror movies take our collective fears and turn them into a shared cinematic experience’.
‘It’s a rare treat to find pleasure in the macabre. Where else do we have the privilege of being scared in a safe environment? But if there’s one thing horror movies have taught us over the years, it’s that just when you think you’re safe, there’s always something waiting to spring from the shadows and take a bite out of you.’ Dig in, if you dare. §