Review: Make The Final Frontier Come Alive In Your Kitchen With ‘The Star Trek Cookbook’

The Star Trek Cookbook
Written by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
Hardcover | $35.00
E-book | $16.99
Published by Gallery Books | 192 Pages

Cookbook author and food stylist Chelsea Monroe-Cassel has done cookbooks for other big franchises (most notably Game of Thrones), but when she got the call to do a Star Trek cookbook, she was overjoyed—as a longtime fan who grew up watching The Next Generation (and eventually every show in the franchise), it had been on her bucket list for years. (And yes, she’s also a fan of the 1999 cookbook of the same name written by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes, and makes it clear that despite some crossover, her recipes are all-new.)

She does her fandom proud with this gorgeous, in-canon, beautifully written collection of Starfleet-sponsored recipes featuring everything from the familiar (Hasperat, Plomeek Soup, Raktajino, Yamok Sauce) to the not-so-familiar (Andorian Spice Bread,  Tarvokian Powder Cake). The book not only groups them into appropriate sections—starters, breads, mains, desserts, drinks, etc.—it also ends with a Menu Suggestions section so you’ll know just what to serve with those Denobulan Sausages.


Excerpted from The Star Trek Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Copyright © ​2022 by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From The Original Series to Lower Decks

Monroe-Cassel was able to include everything up to and including Picard and Lower Decks, which means there was no time to mine Prodigy and Strange New Worlds for dishes. The book still encompasses a huge variety of food seen, heard about, or read about, with recipes meticulously photographed, taste-tasted, and chronicled in stunning glossy pages, where you’ll find everything from Rigelian Chocolate Truffles and First Contact Day Salmon to Pizza with Bunnicorn Sausage.

“One of the challenges is always sort of the battle between making it weird enough, but also making it approachable,” the author told TrekMovie. “I want to have ingredients that are not that hard to source, so that people really can make it without having to drive three hours to a grocery store.” In keeping with the book’s in-canon write-ups, she adds, “And if your replicator is down, you want to be able to make it with whatever you’ve got.” She made a point of using the occasional unconventional ingredient more than once, to keep things practical both for herself and for her readers.


Excerpted from The Star Trek Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Copyright © ​2022 by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

One pip or four?

The book begins with a welcome to food-curious cadets, and each recipe has a 1-4 pips difficulty rating, with 4 being the most challenging. For nervous beginners, Monroe-Cassel recommends starting with the drinks—either the Romulan Ale or the Red Leaf Tea. The Ale is “a very straightforward, very easy, tasty drink” and the Tea is “really nice with breakfast” and “playful with flavors.”

Playful is the right word: The veteran cookbook writer strove to use real food to create delicious dishes, but keep things true to Star Trek, which meant spreading her culinary and photography wings a bit. “My usual comfort zone is sort of dim lighting medieval on a slab of wood kind of thing,” she told us, so incorporating Star Trek’s bright colors was a new experience. She mentions that it took a long time to get the Starfleet Food Rations—those colored blobs seen in The Original Series—to her satisfaction. “One of my rules is you can’t just—if you’re doing Star Wars, blue milk, you can’t just put food dye in milk and call it blue milk like that is literally blue milk, but it’s not a recipe. And so likewise, you can’t just sort of paint some food coloring on melon and call it you know, whatever the up-for-debate name is, which I hope I’ve maybe settled a little bit with my head notes.”

Romulan Ale from The Star Trek Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

Excerpted from The Star Trek Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Copyright © ​2022 by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The ones that got away: Jumja sticks and Captain Pike

Her big regret? Jumja sticks, seen on Deep Space Nine’s Promenade. “It’s such a disappointing thing because I made one batch of these, and they were perfect. And I apparently did not write down what I did. And I could never replicate them again, pun intended. It devastated me, I was right down to the submission deadline wire, I was still trying to remake these. And so that’s the one that got away from me.”

Not much else did, except for all the delicacies that have been coming out of Captain Pike’s quarters in season 1 of Strange New Worlds. Monroe-Cassel could probably do a whole book of Pike’s recipes—especially the episode where “there’s a plate of canapés going around, and they looked incredible”—and loves the idea of, say, doing a side-by-side cooking demo with Anson Mount on the Star Trek Cruise one day.

Captain Pike cooking up a storm on the Enterprise

The trouble with… spatchcocking

But while we wait for that, we still have her cookbook, which sometimes takes risks by combining old Trek with new, like the Quadrotriticale Salad, inspired by The Original Series “The Trouble With Tribbles” but enhanced with a tentacle look as seen on season 1 of Discovery. There’s another tribble-related dish that Monroe-Cassel considers one of her prouder accomplishments: Spatchcocked Tribble.

“One of my favorite Star Trek things is the Short Trek about the tribbles [“The Trouble With Edward”] and the origin story of the Tribbles, basically,” she says. “And it makes me laugh every time I think about it, that there’s this poor well-meaning but absolutely bonkers scientist trying to solve hunger problems on a planet just takes over the entire ship and it’s just tribbles are a problem forever then, right? But I actually built a replicator for that photo, Original Series-era because I just really wanted it to look the part.” She said it took forever to get the lighting just right. “It’s like crazy person stuff, but oh my god, it’s really fun and worth it in the end.”

From “The Trouble With Edward”

Over 70 recipes from across the franchise

With over 70 brand-new recipes from across all of Star Trek—and yes, Monroe-Cassel includes food from novels and video games—this book is both a fun read and a great addition to your kitchen shelf as well as a collection of Star Trek art books. Star Trek is “just a nice world, it’s a nice place to dwell,” she says. “I think one of the interesting things is it shows us the promise of the best that humanity could achieve. It’s a hopeful future.” This upbeat, life-affirming sentiment is present on every page of her book, whether you’re there as a chef or just a bystander. Happy cooking!

Visit Chelsea Monroe-Cassel’s website or her page about The Star Trek Cookbook.

On sale Tuesday

The Star Trek Cookbook will be released on Tuesday, September 20. You can pick it up at Amazon in hardcover for $35.00 and Kindle eBook for $31.50.

The Star Trek Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

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I don’t usually buy into these themed cookbooks. But this was a really good interview and write up, enough to have me seriously consider it. Thank you!

Remember, it ain’t real gagh if it’s not moving.

ST:TNG: “Lonely Among Us”:
Riker: “We no longer enslave animals for food purposes. [Humans eat] something as fresh and tasty as meat, but inorganically materialized out of patterns used by our transporters.”

ST:PIC: “Nepenthe”:
Riker [preparing dinner, and speaking to his daughter whom he sent out to hunt for bunnicorns (a rabbit-like animal)]: “You cut out the venom sacs? … Pizza, with tomato, basil, and nonvenomous bunnicorn sausage.”

I don’t think he was saying hunting was illegal or went away in itself, it sounds like he was saying that entities like farming methods that is meant to breed animals for food is gone by the 24th century. Hunting is obviously still done today worldwide, but it’s not done to feed the masses either.

I remember having this conversation on this site before and I think hunting would still be around in the 24th century, but probably a lot less so compared to today. I’m guessing the overwhelming amount of people who eat meat in the 24th century are eating a processed version of it via replicators, but some people could still hunt.

So nothing was contradicted. It sounds like farms no longer exist in the Star Trek universe because they no longer have to. They now have technology that can process the taste of meat through other means. But I don’t think it means people don’t eat real meat from time to time either.

That’s exactly how I took it. We know for a fact that other aliens hunt. We heard about it on DS9 and other shows so it’s more of an earth thing – getting rid of mass farming for the sake of meat when replicators exist. It’s also fair to state that Star Trek characters before this new modern era of Trek always talked about how replicators are never quite as good as the real thing. Picard in TNG even said he kept a jar of caviar for special occasions so humans still eat actual animals. Riker even had a picture of fishing with his dad when he was a boy on one of the TNG episodes.

They better have the multicoloured cubes they ate on TOS.

Blue ones too?

Now I’m tempted to buy!

I’m sorry. Hot dogs instead of real lemur meat? This book is not canon and I will not stand for it. How dare the producers of Star Trek foist this trash on us? They have totally lost my support and I will not be watching upcoming seasons of SNW and PICARD.

I’ve always wanted to try Hasperat!

I have always thought hasperat is probably similar to Ethiopian injera, based on its description as “briny” in “Preemptive Strike.”

I’d forgotten about jumja sticks and probably wouldn’t noticed have they were missing…and now I am disappoint ;)

IT’S A COOKBOOK!!! IT’S A COOKBOOK!!! (someone had to make this reference :)))

Deep cut…”To serve mankind”

“how to cook for forty humans”

But does it have Tranya?

That looks intriguing but the Romulan Ale recipe seems to lack anything that would knock you on your a$$ the way the original is supposed to. Energy drink? Lemon lime soda? That’s for a weak knockoff…

I was thinking the same plus it comes across more like a cocktail than an ale. If they were to mix some random 8% IPA with a generous amount of spirits and blue food dye it would probably come across as more authentic but they might have to brace themselves for a few law suits…

Thank you Laurie, I always wanted to know what Romulan ale was made of, though I doubt that was the actual concoction that was used in the series and movies (because of the alcohol). I do wonder what they were using…

contrary to the premise of a cookbook (and like her blue milk example) – probably just blue colored water was all they bothered to make for filming

Romulan ale is just coloured water? Next you’ll tell me there’s no Santa Claus!

But does it have gumbo and Jambalaya?

I wondered that as well.

Are any of the Sisko family recipes like Aubergine stew in there?

No one’s mentioning the OG Star Trek Cooking manual? Or did I miss it? Grits McCoy? It had a great lasagna recipe sourced from James Doohan.

I’ve been wanting one of these since I saw a Star Wars cookbook. A lot of great Trek books in time for the winter holiday season!