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Giroux, Annick
Hellbent For Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook (Book Review)
August 2012
Released: 2009, Bazillion Points
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

HELLBENT FOR COOKING is the first Metal-themed cookbook. Written by Canadian Metalhead, Annick Giroux, this book came out in late 2009. It’s a great looking book and a fun idea. It consists of 101 recipes contributed by members of various Metal bands from around the world. My copy is an over-sized paperback running at 224 pages, printed on glossy paper and in full colour. Bazillion Points has done a fine job as always.

The cookbook comes with lots of neat extra features above and beyond just recipes. The layout is really nice looking. It has the name of each band that contributed a recipe, the flag of their nation, a write-up on each band, a quote from the contributor, and a note from Annick about each recipe. Each recipe has a full-colour two-page spread, the instructions and details one on side and a nice photo of each dish on the other. There are some funny cartoons spread around the book as well as photos of Annick’s kitchen and random collages of Metal memorabilia. There is a useful illustrated guide called ‘Weapons Of Mass Nutrition’ for the novice (like me) that shows what a spatula is for example and she includes a page of useful tips, such as how to cut onions without crying so your don’t look like a sissy!

I realize it is not the best (or fairest) way to review a book, by comparing it to another. A book should be able to stand on it’s own merit and yet, because there are only two (to the best of my knowledge) Metal-Themed cookbooks in existence, and couple with the fact that I own both, it’s only natural to compare the two. I hesitated to say the HELLBENT was first as they were published quite close together so it’s likely that both cookbooks were being written simultaneously, but HELLBENT got into the stores first, so it has the bragging rights.

HELLBENT FOR COOKING is the superior book to MOSH POTATOES in my mind for a number of reasons. It’s bigger, brighter and has more features. The little extras, such as the brief write-up on each band are nice touches. It just seems more…’Metal’ than MOSH POTATOES. The bands that contribute recipes are mostly from the heavier end of the spectrum and it is a much more visually attractive book, with hundreds of photos, tips, tricks, quotes all on glossy paper. As the author is Canadian and a great supporter of the scene through her work on the Morbid Tales ‘zine, there is lots of Canadian content from heavyweights Anvil and Exciter to the new elite of Weapon and Cauldron. International contributors include veterans Thin Lizzy, Budgie and Uriah Heep to young guns, Midnight and Alcoholic Rites and Lamp Of Thoth.

Regardless of which Metal cookbook you choose to use, ultimately my feelings about Metal and cooking still stand. As per my review of MOSH POTATOES back in January of 2012, the preparation of food is not Metal. However if you must sacrifice some Metal cred points and toil in the kitchen, then this is the book for you.
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