Food: In World of Warcraft, it’s good for the health and it’s good for the mana. But why should your avatar be the only one who gets to sample Azeroth’s most savory dishes? Meet Irillys, a Tauren Shaman on the Bloodscalp realm (in real life, Guinevere Mee); she’s on a culinary quest to make World of Warcraft’s in-game fantasy food a reality. Her first project, The Tauren Chef Cookbook, offers easy to follow recipes based on and inspired by food items found in the game.
It all started when her two sons started playing World of Warcraft during the beta period in 2004. “They were immediately fascinated with the game and soon decided to write up guides for how to play through some of the dungeons,” recalls Irillys. The two boys started a website, GotWarcraft.com, which now features everything from class specific leveling guides to detailed strategies for downing raid bosses.
Above: A Grand Master cook is on a culinary quest to make World of Warcraft’s fantasy foods a reality
It wasn’t long before Irillys and her husband began adventuring with their sons, making World of Warcraft a family affair. “Now, we all play, and the three of us have computers in the same room, which makes teaming in-game much easier,” says Irillys, whose fondness for cooking and baking drew her toward World of Warcraft’s cooking profession.
“I was intrigued with the names of some of the World of Warcraft dishes and the unusual ingredients; I couldn't help imagining what they might be like in real life,” explains Irillys. But it wasn’t until her two sons pointed out the striking similarities between rhubarb stalks and murloc arms at a local grocery store that Irillys was inspired to take action and create her first World of Warcraft-inspired dish: Strawberry-Murloc Pie. “The recipe met with resounding success and I went on to create my own real-life versions of as many of the in-game recipes as I possibly could,” says Irillys. At that moment, Irillys accepted the most epic cooking quest of all time and the Tauren Chef was born; she’s now published not only The Tauren Chef Cookbook but also its “expansion,” Wrath of the Kitchen King; you can find them at www.taurenchef.com.
Above: One of Guinevere’s many Tauren characters
But Irillys’s quest line is far from complete. “As long as Blizzard keeps expanding World of Warcraft, there will be new dishes to design,” she says. “I’m hoping that Cataclysm will introduce new recipes, and there are still recipes I have not developed from the original game, as well as Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.” That’s good news for hungry raiders around the world. But what’s even better news, is that we’ve got a few sample recipes from The Tauren Chef Cookbook to whet your appetite for Thanksgiving. Check out the delicious World of Warcraft-themed recipes for appetizers, main courses, and desserts on the following pages, courtesy of Guinevere Mee.
Red Hot Wings
This recipe is an easy one, yet it tastes great and will satisfy and impress your guests. You can prepare these wings outside on the barbecue or indoors in the broiler, so they are great no matter what time of year you want to make them. Add more or less cayenne pepper depending on the level of heat you like in your food.
10 chicken wings (approximately)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1 Tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less depending on how hot you want it)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Above: You can also buy Red Hot Wings from Stamp Thunderhorn at the Darkmoon Faire
Cut off the tips of the chicken wings using kitchen shears or a sharp knife and discard.
You can leave the rest of the chicken wing in one piece, or sever the chicken wing into two pieces at the joint, again using kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
Mix the seasonings together and place in a large re-closeable plastic bag. Add the chicken wing (pieces) and seal the bag. Mix the seasonings into the wings until the chicken is well coated.
Refrigerate the chicken in the plastic bag for two to eight hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
You may cook the chicken on the barbecue or in the broiler. Broil the chicken for six to eight minutes, and then turn and broil another three to four minutes more, or until done and crispy.
Serve as an appetizer, or add a salad and garlic bread for a light and tasty lunch.