Dinner

“Divine Your Dinner” cookbook uses tarot to help you plan your meals

"Divine Your Dinner" cookbook uses tarot to help you plan your meals

Even as a non-practicing Catholic, to this day there are few things scarier to me than references to the supernatural. Throughout my Catholic school education, various teachers indoctrinated me into the idea that cootie catchers and the like were adjacent to the devil. So when I first found out Divinize your dinner, a cookbook that encourages the use of Tarot to guide magical meals, admittedly I was suspicious. My mind conjured up the stereotypical image of the three wayward witches from Macbeth.

There are only two authors behind the magic cookbook Divinize your dinnerhowever, and they’re not your Shakespearian brand – they’re cooler.

Courtney McBroom is the chef behind the Ruined Table project and was the former culinary director of Momofuku Milk Bar. Melinda Lee Holm is a tarot priestess who translates divine wisdom into action. Together they discussed Divinize your dinner, a comprehensive cooking grimoire with 78 recipes, each linked to a specific tarot card. To determine which meal you should prepare, you draw a tarot card.

The intent behind the recipes, the ingredients, even its images (the book’s stunning photos are shot by Kristin Teig and the spellbinding illustrations by Kim Thompson) are enough to immediately draw you in. With divinity in mind, McBroom and Holm designed a book intended to encourage positive energy as you draw cards from a tarot deck and work your way through their book.

“I like to mix things up first while asking what influence I need most right now,” Holm said of her method of using her cookbook to select a tarot-determined meal. “Then I spread the cards out on the table in an arc and hover my non-dominant hand about an inch above them until I feel it being drawn, then I choose that card From there, I’ll draw more cards or use the first one as a base to build a meal.

Draw a Five of Swords from a deck of tarot cards and you’ll get instructions on how to confit a duck with juniper berries and bay leaf to combat anxiety. The Queen of Coins card encourages you to treat yourself to Dutch blackberry and lemon babies to align your home and your heart.

I used this method of meal divination for a week, and for my first meal I pulled the Three of Swords from a deck of tarot cards and learned how to make fried honey wings from the South. Funny enough, the deliciously sticky meal uses magical ingredients of cayenne and honey to encourage openness to new perspectives. “You’ll have a good deal of time to kill while [the wings are] dip in marinade. Use it to meditate, take a long bath, go for a run, or all three,” the book says of the recipe.

Holm said teen vogue that the cookbook began with an understanding of the similarity of food and language in the sense that they both elicit certain energies. “Knowing that you have the power to make big changes to your experience just by paying attention to the words you use, I think it’s the same with food,” Holm said. “Food has a history, a lineage. Food has been used for healing, to express ideas and emotions, and in spells and rituals for all of recorded history. Choosing the food you eat with the same intention that you would choose herbs for a spell, building on that same story, just brings magical intention into your cooking.