Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, by Chris-Rachael Oseland, Review

Just in time for that last minute gift for your favorite Whovian, or to plan your Dr Who Christmas Special Party: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook by Chris-Rachael Oseland

We are getting so pumped for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. There are so many questions up in the air. What will The Doctor do without the Ponds? How are WE going to live without the Ponds? Is Clara Oswald the same person as Oswin Oswald? And how is that even possible? And are we going to like her? And what is up with these killer snowmen? Well Chris-Rachael Oseland can’t help us with these questions but she did write a cookbook that will at least help you to throw a kickass party on the night of the premiere. And impress all your Whovian friends along the way. The author of this article wonders why he didn’t have this book when he threw his Doctor Who party. Not that he would have been able to cook in his Dalek outfit but STILL. 

One of the things we love most about this cookbook is the creativity involved. The author has taken every episode of the new series of Doctor Who up until Series 6. This seems like a fairly difficult challenge to pull off well but she manages to do it without cheating or coming up with generic Doctor Who recipes (ex: Tardis shaped cake). She combines creative recipe ideas with incredibly fun presentation. Some of the recipes are a nod to storylines and some are just whacky food sculpture that are just fun for the heck of it. Some of our favorite creative recipes include “The Last Human Fruit Leather,” “The Master’s Drums” and “Weeping Angel Wings.” She also has a bunch of creative ways to make Daleks and Cybermen. And of course a whole chapter devoted to fish fingers and custard. The author can’t say that he has tried any of those recipes yet but maybe you’ll be brave enough to have a go at them. We can’t wait to see what she does with future expansions (maybe a Melody Malone Manhattan or a Dalek Soufflé?).

Along with creative recipes, Chris-Rachael Oseland’s cookbook is actually fun to read. And making a cookbook that is fun to read isn’t an easy task. She combines humor, Whovian inside jokes and easy to follow recipe instructions. You can tell she is absolutely in love with Doctor Who and her writing certainly reads like it comes from a devoted Whovian. It was obviously a joy for her to write this cookbook and it shows in every chapter and every recipe. Her writing does contain spoilers (and a very River Song spoiler alert) so make sure to read up to the episode you are on. And this is a book you might actually learn something from. Oseland incorporates history into her recipes. For instance, what would the Last Centurion be chowing down on in a Roman camp? And what might our favorite World War II orphans find on the tables of the houses they broke into? What did the British eat during the Blitz? And what would they have eaten to celebrate a coronation? And exactly what kind of drinks would Queen Victoria be drinking before she became a werewolf? 

So how easy is this book to cook from? And how do the recipes taste? This is a cookbook made for all levels of cooks. All the recipes are easily modified if you don’t have the time or energy to make elaborate dishes. And if you aren’t very good at cooking there are a ton of recipes just for you! And Chris-Rachael Oseland is ok with you cheating a little and even gives some tips for shortcuts. This is not a book necessarily designed to teach you the intricate lessons of cooking. It’s just a fun book aimed at helping you have an amazing Doctor Who party. Maybe later she can write the sequel to teach us how to cook. And she’ll be like a Whovian Julia Childs. This book is also great for those with dietary restrictions. At the end, the author specifically lists good recipes for people who are vegan/vegetarian, people who have celiac and people who are following a low carb or paleo diet. And many of her recipes can be modified easily to meet dietary restrictions not otherwise stated. Which is wonderful because it makes the cookbook accessible to all Whovians. Which is important to the author of this article because he has celiac. Chris-Rachael Oseland has recipes for snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and some fun adult drinks. But are they tasty? The author of this article tried out some recipes (specifically Wartime Cheese and Potato Dumplings with Fried Spam Slices, Pete Tyler’s Health Tonic and the Doctor’s Omelet). All of these recipes were tasty and easy to make. They were a big hit with everyone who tried them. And who knew that mayo went well the omelets? We didn’t but maybe we just need to learn to trust The Doctor’s cooking skills. And our own cooking skills as well.

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What really makes this cookbook special though is that it is obviously written for Whovians by a Whovian. When we first got a look at this cookbook we knew it would be the perfect gift for any Whovian. We get to celebrate all the wonderful things in the Doctor Who universe including our favorite episodes, companions, villains and doctors. Chris-Rachael Oseland does a wonderful job taking us on a culinary journey through time and space. And for the author of this article it was an absolute pleasure getting to review this book. We would recommend this cookbook for anyone throwing a good Doctor Who party or just for the love of all things Doctor Who. We give this cookbook a solid A for its creativity and celebration of all things Doctor Who. We can’t wait to see what else Chris-Rachael Oseland has to offer to us Whovians in the future. Maybe just a book of mixed drinks? Or a book celebrating the first eight doctors? We are excited to see what the future holds.