Book review: The Seitanic Spellbook

Book review: The Seitanic Spellbook

Veganism brought into the realm of heavy metal in this unique, but useful, and highly readable cookbook

One thing vegans certainly don’t lack (apart from protein) is a choice of cookbooks.

That gap in the market has been filled many times over with a vast array of takes on the vegan diet, so much so, that the average vegan now has their own personal library of recipes. In other words, to stand out from the plant-based crowd these days, you need to have something a little different.

Corpse paint, altars and goblets are certainly one way of standing out from the crowd. Traditionally, veganism and heavy metal have got along about as well as Liverpool and Manchester United football fans. The Vegan Black Metal Chef has changed all that.

To get a taste of what to expect, check out the Vegan Black Metal Chef’s videos on Youtube. This is where his cookery demonstrations started life, and the QR codes with each of the recipes in The Seitanic Spellbook will take you to entertaining videos that bring the recipes to life.

The book originally started out as a Kickstarter campaign (people pre-pay for the project to get it off the ground – many new bands use this method to release albums now). It didn’t take the Vegan Black Metal Chef long to reach his target and realise his dream of seeing his work in print.
And what a beautiful work it is. It’s a colourful hardback tome filled with food porn shots, gothic-style headlines and bold, easy to read print.

The author’s unique take on cookery makes for entertaining reading too. For example, take the three bean chilli recipe, which is introduced thus: “The fall of mankind will have one saviour. In the desolation of the end, a burning phoenix will smell of a spicy mixture of chipotle, chilli and cayenne pepper.”
Obviously, this book was forged in the USA, so some spellings and ingredient names are slightly different to the UK, but I haven’t found this to be an issue really – especially in the Google age!

There are recipes here that even the most culinary-challenged folk can have a go at. How to make seitan itself, how to roast garlic and a basic biscuit recipe are all cases in point. Most recipes also come with optional ingredients. This is an approach I like very much. Cooking should be enjoyable, not an exact science, so you adjust recipes to suit your taste buds. Surely that makes sense?

Some of the more seasoned (experienced – not salted) cooks will be disappointed by the lack of complex recipes – I see that as an advantage rather than a disadvantage as food is a universal delight and one that should be available to all. A more important factor in budget constraints and availability of ingredients.
The book scores quite highly in both these areas. There are dishes with few ingredients and dishes with many ingredients, and meals to suit a range of budgets. Here’s where having optional ingredients proves to be a further help.

The asides and philosophies of the Vegan Black Metal Chef are worth buying this book for alone. From “the mystery of fire and water” to “why veganism is the best single action”, there’s plenty to read here besides the obvious recipes. It’s all written in a humorous, black metal style too – and one non-metalheads will be able to enjoy too.

There are also useful aside such as why you should use a deep fat fryer and how to choose a good avocado.
The book is available from the Vegan Black Metal Chef website – – I personally think the shipping cost is well worth paying to get hold of a copy. But if you want to save cash, it’s available as a Kindle version through Amazon in the UK too.


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