Go on a Tour of NYC Cuisine in the New Marvel: Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook

Today, July 2, 2024, the Marvel Universe is releasing a friendly neighborhood guide to cuisine from NYC, the spider-verse, and beyond. With over 60 recipes, the Marvel Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook (affiliate link) will be an adventure through a diverse collections of recipes that only New York can provide. With specific locations, Spider-Man choices, and spider-verse themed concoctions, this recipe book boast a unique collaboration that will earn its place among the vast collection of recipe books.

By Jermaine McLaughlin, Paul Eschbach, and Bon Diaz, the Spider-Man Official Cookbook features 160 pages of images, recipes, instructions, and action-packed anecdotes fans will love to look at, read, and cook. Here is a little about the creators of this cookbook:

“Jermaine McLaughlin is a London (UK)-born, Brooklyn-based writer, comic historian, and collector of entirely too many action figures. He’s a twenty-year veteran of the comic book industry from his time at DC Comics, whose work has been featured on the sites Syfy Wire and The Beat. His work is also featured prominently in the Marvel Comics Library series from Taschen, specifically the collections for The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four.

Paul Eschbach is a Michelin star chef with 25 years of professional culinary experience. He spent almost 10 years living in NYC as a young cook and chef. He’s lived in China, Japan, and the West Coast. Currently, he resides on the North Fork of Long Island with his daughter and wife, and dog Kona.

Von Diaz is an Emmy Award-winning documentarian, food historian, and author of Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories form Puerto Rico to the Deep South and Islas: A Celebration of Tropical Cooking. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, StoryCorps, Food & Wine Magazine, and Bone Appétit, among many others.” (Amazon.com)

That line-up of talent makes this Spider-Man The Official Cookbook legit.

Thanks to Insight Editions, I received the opportunity to review Marvel: Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook (woohoo) and here is what I thought.

“With great recipes, there must also come great responsibility… to share”, and with this official Cookbook, Spider-Man does so happily. This cookbook comes to us from the perspective of everyone’s favorite neighborhood superhero, Spider-Man. The cookbook starts with a welcome letter, by Spider-Man himself, explaining the reason for releasing such an amazing book. He shares how people from all walks of life come to New York City seeking adventures or a better life. The collide of cultures leads to a unique and epic cuisine. Basically, this is Spider-Man’s love letter to the city he adores so much. It’s a fantastic two page read that really helps immerse the chef into the world of Spider-Man with hopes of some delicious foods from an iconic city.

This recipe book is strange, to say the least. Most recipe books have recipes divided by appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks, etc. However, Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook divides the recipes by location, specifically, locations in New York City. The locations include

  • Queens (red)
  • The Bronx (orange)
  • Manhattan (purple)
  • Staten Island (green)
  • Brooklyn (blue)

Within these designated locations, there is also no organization. Cookies come before soup, sandwiches come after Jerk Chicken, and so on. At first I thought, maybe the recipes are alphabetical, but no. Queens starts with Aunt May’s Wheatcakes but has Kraving Veggie Dumplings before an Italian Hero Recipe. This does make it rather difficult to find specific types of recipes since none of them are organized by type. There is a table of contents …sort of.. but it divides them by location, and they are in order of how they appear in the book.

While the division by location with no visible organization of recipes makes it difficult to find recipes by type, I really like that it provides a little bit of knowledge about what foods are iconic to each location. We can see what cultures have influenced foods in different parts of the city. Some have Italian roots, some have Mexican, others have German. These influences are very notable and make this book worth every penny, especially for someone like me who has never been to New York City but wishes to taste the cuisine of the area. We can find Jerk Chicken in Queens, Multidimensional Eggplant Parmesan in The Bronx, Korean Fried Chicken in Manhattan, Veggies and Hummus in Staten Island, and Pierogis in Brooklyn.

While finding recipes that are iconic to specific areas in New York City is epic, the recipes in this Spider-Man Official Cookbook are also introduced by Spider-Man and other Marvel characters. That takes a vast amount of writing skill to keep in voice for each character mentioned. The ability to go from Spider-Man’s voice to Luke Cage’s voice to the voice of other recognizable characters keeps the recipe book fresh and fun to read. For example, the recipe Yule Log, features an introduction from Spider-Man and Luke Cage, because we all know, one of Cage’s catchphrases is, “Sweet Christmas”. I Love that! Honestly, this book is fun to read and explore even if I wasn’t looking for something to cook.

The exploration doesn’t end with the anecdotes, the book provides fantastic images of finished products, images of Spider-Man, and more. Spider-Man the Official Cookbook is colorful and inviting, making this a great book to add to any cookbook collection. Every single recipe gets it’s own page with professional images that make each recipe look appetizing. This is above and beyond what most cookbooks require or strive to embody. The sheer pride in layout, color, images, stories, and recipe clarity is phenomenal. The writers, photographers, editors, and publishers went all in with this book and they did not disappoint.

The amazing attention to detail doesn’t end with the recipes; Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook also has a great cover. The front cover features a more classic Spider-Man feel with the friendly neighborhood superhero hanging upside-down. The back contains several recipe pictures featuring an introduction into the world of the Official Cookbook.

Along with fantastic images, the book is hardcover! And to make it even better, the hardcover features an indentation to save the binding of the book. This allows the pages to fully open and stay open! That means the book doesn’t close on its’ own! This allows a chef to concentrate on their food and not have to constantly find a recipe after losing their place. This is a big win. Several cookbooks that I own tend to want to close unless I bend the binding to make it stay open, and sometimes that doesn’t work. Spider-Man The Official Cookbook kept the chef in mind, making this a joy to work with.

If it weren’t for the weird organization of recipes, I would have said that Spider-Man The Official Cookbook was perfect. It’s a fun story to read with adventurous tales about Spider-Man and his fellow superheroes and villains, we have wonderful recipes iconic to specific locations in New York City, the photographs and art are appetizing and pleasing to the eye, we have a great introduction, glossary, and Dietary Considerations, The hardcover and binding are phenomenal, and so much more. Along with a fantastic team of creative authors, this cookbook is amazing. It’ i’s a stand-alone story book and useful tool in the kitchen.

Grab a copy of this amazing book, Marvel: Spider-Man: The Official Cookbook, from Amazon.com (affiliate link)