Book review: Epic Kitchen Adventures by Raphael Gomes
Website Culture Editor Julia Mitchell reviews Epic Kitchen Adventures: the first book written by rising YouTube star Raphael Gomes.
Raphael Gomes is becoming a big deal in the YouTube world, what with having over a quarter of a million subscribers to his YouTube channel ‘ItsRaphaBlueBerry’, and now, his first book. Epic Kitchen Adventures is a fun cookbook that includes some of the recipes featured in his popular ‘Cooking with Raphael’ video series, and also comes with its own app.
The content of the book has been well structured and consists of five main sections: Mug Cakes, Pizza Everything, Cookies and Biscuits, Not Sure Where It Fits, and a Basics section which details some useful recipes that beginners will find especially handy. Plus, the inclusion of the Mug Cakes section means that you’ll even be able to bake with your microwave if you live in Eliot College!
But the most unique feature of Epic Kitchen Adventures is the free app, downloadable from both the App Store and Google Play, that can be used to extract even more content from the book itself. This works by using the ‘scan here’ icon that has been scattered throughout the book and tucked into the corners of some of the pages. It prompts you to to whip out your phone and scan the page by using the ‘scan here’ function on the app, which brings up a camera-like screen on your phone that you can use scan the page and reveal exclusive content.
Scanning some of the pages creates a cool augmented reality effect, where the page of the book you’re viewing changes on your phone screen, revealing hidden tips or advice. For other pages the app reveals an exclusive video of Raphael making a recipe that’s never been seen before on his YouTube channel. Plus if the recipe you’re making doesn’t have a ‘scan here’ icon, then you can instead access Raphael’s YouTube channel through the app, which will sometimes have a video for the recipe you’re making. I really enjoyed this innovative way of connecting Raphael’s channel to his book, and felt that it had been executed really well.
When I got down to attempting some of the recipes for myself I found that it was a good idea to have the app on hand as an extra reference, although on one occasion it still left me feeling stumped. For my first bake I attempted to make the ‘Unicorn Poo Cookies’ with a friend, but as the instructions were a bit vague we found it unclear how to shape the cookies after we had combined the mixture. Unfortunately there wasn’t actually a picture of it in the book, which would have helped, and when I checked the app there wasn’t a video to watch either. Before starting my second bake I managed to find a video on Raphael’s channel to watch first, and it’s safe to say that my ‘Nutella Mug Cake’ was a lot more successful, and not just because the recipe was simpler. This is where I have some criticism. Some of the recipes are not quite detailed enough, and if there isn’t a video to watch on Raphael’s channel, or if you can’t access the internet for some reason, then you’re going to have to fill in the blanks yourself.
Despite this Epic Kitchen Adventures is overall a good book, and fans of Raphael will particularly enjoy the chance to see some exclusive content. It’s a fun and creative cookery book- just make sure you have the app on hand in order to get the most out of it!
Epic Kitchen Adventures is available now, priced at £9.99 and published by Blink Publishing.