Heroes Feast is a new cooking show that will launch with the Dungeons & Dragons Adventures channel. Hosted by 'Chef Mike' Haracz and Actor/Filmmaker Sujata Day this show will welcome guests from the world of Dungeons & Dragons as they cook up recipes from Heroes Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook.
Earlier this week, we got to speak with Chef Mike and Day to discuss the intersection of Dungeons & Dragons and food, what we can expect from upcoming episodes of Heroes Feast, and what their ultimate D&D snack is.
Heroes Feast Is A Cooking-Talk-Game Show
This show initially came together with the idea of being a cooking show based on the Heroes Feast: Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Michael Witwer.
The way Chef Mike tells it: "Apparently somebody googled searched 'D&D chef' and your boy right here popped up. I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons for years and years, I talk about it publicly, and on all my social media channels so I did have a little bit of a D&D audience prior to this. One thing led to another they're like 'Hey, I know you've never been on a TV Show ever or hosted a thing but you wanna do this?' and I said 'Sign me up!'"
Sujata's history for D&D starts with Dungeons & Dragons: Girls, Guts, Glory. It was a group she formed with her girlfriends when "two or three of us knew how to play, but the rest of us did not know how to play. I did not know how to play."
"We had a coach [...] for about six months, did our characters, we acted them out, we had our voices, we dressed up as the characters, we shot it, we uploaded it to YouTube, and learned how to play Dungeons & Dragons in that sense." Sujata elaborated
"Wizards of the Coast saw those videos and asked our group to come up and play and then it was around Christmas time last year that I was approached to be the host. I was very honest with them because I don't know how to cook and my Dungeons & Dragons ability and skill is pretty beginner-level as well. I was really excited to find out that my host, Chef Mike, was very Advanced in Dungeons & Dragons and was a professional chef."
When asked how Heroes Feast would be different from other cooking TV shows Chef Mike explained "I did not write this cookbook and I never made the recipes before so what's fun and approachable [...] we're kinda figuring things out every episode as things go along."
Chef Mike referenced that it's not only Sujata and himself that Dungeons & Dragons fans can expect to see in Heroes Feast. Fans of various Dungeons & Dragons Actual Plays and internet content will be able to see familiar faces like Aabria Iyengar, Ify Nwadiwe, Anjali Bhimani, and Freddie Wong.
"Each guest makes such a unique episode based on their personality, their energy, their skill level [...] but I've never made this either so lets figure it out together. There's a lot of learning. Some recipes turned out fantastic, some were… pretty good."
"There is no prompt, there are no feeding lines, for me it's just 'Hey Chef Mike, host a show with Sujata! Turn the cameras on and cook! Let's do it!'"
"It has that feel of, there's mistakes and I'm very much the opposite of a Gordon Ramsey chef"
Sujata added that one of the things she enjoyed most about the show was that "it's not a competition show, so it's just good vibes. It's just super positive, we're having fun with our guests. We're learning about them and they're getting to know us, so it's just really fun. You don't get that a lot in cooking shows."
Even A D&D Cooking Show Needs Dice
It's not only about cooking on Heroes Feast. Having caught the trailer released last week, I needed to ask what the dice rolls were about.
"We play a lot of games on the show which was really fun," Sujata started "I ended up becoming the Game Master."
As Sujata, Mike, and the guest of the week are making their way through cooking the meals, they use the dice to "pick our sides and pick our ingredients."
"We would also play games to learn more about our guests and that would be really fun too."
Eating At The End Is A Reward In Itself
Owning the Heroes Feast cookbook myself and creating a few meals from it, I wanted to know which of the meals that Chef Mike and Sujata had enjoyed most on the show.
Sujata immediately responded with "I can't stop thinking about the Shepherds Pie"
"That one turned out really good" Chef Mike immediately agreed. "I think the Shepherds Pie and then we did a type of ratatouille-inspired dish that I think on-camera looks so impressive and then people see how we made it and it's 'Yeah, that's all you've got to do.'"
"I also loved the stuffed French Toast" Sujata cut in again
"Ooh yeah, the dice rolls determined what we needed to stuff the French Toast with and the dice were in our favor"
"I feel like it didn't for all of it though. We made some with different ingredients because it was two guests that day [...] and we were all hoping for different things and I think we all got what we wanted"
"If a guest says 'I want it with this' who am I, uhh the dice, to tell them" Mike quickly defended himself "We're trying to make it friendly [...] so you know what you get inspiration, reroll the dice"
Bringing up the idea that the show is essentially "chaos ensues" both Chef Mike and Sujata couldn't agree more. Mike brought up that when Matthew Lillard entered the kitchen one of the first things he did was "pull a knife out of the knife block and Matthew Lillard with a knife in his hand IS chaos and that's day one!"
"Every guest, every episode is unique. Each one is a whole lot of fun."
Food Above Table and On The Table
Food plays such an importance in the lives of humans so it's not a big surprise that it's important to the characters of a Dungeons & Dragons party.
Sujata immediately hopped in to share her own experience "Even when I was playing Girls, Guts, Glory [...] we were going on adventures and we would be talking about food. We'd end up at a pub (in-game) and we'd end up drinking beers and eating turkey legs. I think food is a huge part of D&D and the lore and the characters because you need a lot of fuel and energy to go on adventures and to fight"
"I think on two different levels there's playing a game with your friends, maybe you're playing 8-10 hour sessions because you can only play once a month so everybody's bringing things to the table, sharing, bringing their own creativity and their own food items," Chef Mike began.
"Then there's the whole layer of food and culture in any universe. Different locations, maybe a city is by the sea so you're going to have more seafood, maybe it's in the forest, maybe it's in the Underdark," Mike continued. "All of that can translate into what food is available in that area as well as your [party] might have different backgrounds and different food preferences that dealing with in the live game setting could lead to a whole bunch of shenanigans as well, so I think both in and out of game food is incredibly important."
What Are Chef Mike and Sujata Day Bringing To The D&D Session?
The question that took Chef Mike and Sujata by surprise the most was the simple question "You're heading to D&D, what's your ultimate snack?"
Sujata explained "I'm a savory person, I have a savory tooth so for me it would be salt and vinegar potato chips"
Chef Mike began his answer by stating he was very strategic, and I don't think Sujata and I were quite prepared for just how strategic he was thinking.
"We're rolling dice, we're moving minis, I don't need cheesy fingers and I don't need a sandwich that's dripping sauce all over me. Certainly a thing like Pizza, which is relatively clean, you don't need silverware, you can eat it on a plate."
"Little appetizers that you may either eat on a canape or you can stab with a little toothpick so that way your hands are clean."
Chef Mike imparted an extremely important message adding that people should "try to incorporate vegetables and fruits 'cause usually it's a bag of potato chips or cookies. Maybe a little crudites platter or roughage in ya but I strategically bring things that are easy to eat or low odor."
"I love that the chef gave a chef answer, and I gave a 'What can I pick up at the grocery store?' answer"
In sharing how well the dynamic between each of them was on-set, and during this interview, it was explained that "this is why Mikejata or Sike, which is our plutonic ship name, worked absolutely perfectly"
"We gave ourselves a ship name!" Sujata excitedly added "Please highlight that."
Where can you watch Heroes Feast?
The official launch date for Heroes Feast is November 13th and it can be viewed via Freevee and Plex on the Dungeons & Dragons Adventures channel. It will be one of the original programs alongside Encounter Party and Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill!.
Retro Dungeons & Dragons content will also be available on the channel, including re-runs of the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon.
Chef Mike did tease that guests from both Encounter Party and Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill! will also be appearing on Heroes Feast where they'll be discussing more information about their respective shows.
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