With its high concept, exceptional writing, eye-popping set design, stellar cast, meaningful explorations of what it means to be a good person, and clam chowder fountains, The Good Place has captured the hearts and minds of critics and viewers alike.
For the first time ever, fans can indulge their cravings for The Good Place with delicious, comforting, original recipes like “Macaroni and Socra-cheese,” “I Think Therefore I Clam (Chowder),” “I Kant Believe It’s Not Buttermilk Pancakes,” and more. Each recipe title references a philosopher or philosophical concept from the show and uses food analogies to explain those concepts to readers who, like Eleanor, can’t always follow Chidi’s lectures.
A refreshing and entertaining twist on cookbooks, Forking Good will help you plan your next viewing party as you re-binge your favorite show.
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|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Stephen H. Segal is the coauthor of Geek Wisdom and Geek Parenting and the Hugo Award– winning former editorial director of Weird Tales. He’s edited award-winning food writers at Philadelphia Weekly, WQED Pittsburgh, and InPittsburgh Weekly. He currently writes about death-related topics as senior editor at Legacy.com, the world’s largest online hub of obituaries.
Dingding Hu is a New York based illustrator, best known for her delightful illustration work featuring adorable food and hilarious characters. She has worked on projects for Google, the Museum of Chinese in America, and MIT Media Lab. Her work has appeared in Time Out, the New York Times, and Lucky Peach. She is the recipient of a silver medal in the digital media category at the Comic and Cartoon Annual by the Society of Illustrators. For more information, visit dingdinghu.com and her Etsy shop, Hu is Hungry.
Read an Excerpt
Why is there so much food, and talk of food, in The Good Place—a supernatural TV sitcom that’s all about learning to use ethical philosophy to make good life choices? From the first moments of the first episode, food forms the backdrop to almost everything that happens on the show.
We meet Eleanor Shellstrop as she wakes in the afterlife and immediately learns that she died while buying groceries. Then Michael, her angelically dressed soul shepherd, takes her on an orientation tour of the Good Place, and literally the first thing we see as they stroll onto the neighborhood’s streets is a cupcake cart.
Food puns fill the Good Place’s ever-changing neighborhood signage. And once Eleanor meets her new friends Chidi, Tahani, and Jason, they quickly fall into a casual routine of noshing at parties and restaurants, chatting in sidewalk cafés, and not-so-silently judging one another for their food choices, from Jason’s adolescent snack cravings and Tahani’s Instagram-perfect hors d’oeuvres to Chidi’s unnecessary muffin dilemmas and Eleanor’s knee-jerk shrimp-and-booze gluttony.
After a while, it becomes clear that food in The Good Place is a kind of emotional litmus test for what’s happening all around.
In the beginning, food underscores the uncanny, nearly-perfect-but-still-somehow-unsatisfying quality of life in the neighborhood that Michael has designed. (Frozen yogurt in every flavor you never imagined!) Three seasons of mind-blowing plot twists and reinventions later, food continues to reflect the nature of the characters’ surroundings. (A horrifying pot of chili representing Nietzsche’s idea that life is meaningless!)
Food, it turns out, is fundamentally a philosophical subject.
Philosophy encourages us to take a step back and reflect upon our choices. This approach can be applied to food as well, because the way a person cooks—and eats—reveals something about the way they have chosen to live their life.
How many meals do we eat that are fine but unremarkable, that fill the void but leave something to be desired? Do we eat without thinking about where the food comes from or how it was made? Do we invite our neighbors for a barbecue or host a potluck for friends? Do we ask elders for their favorite recipes, maybe adapt them for our needs but celebrate the legacy? Do we take time to enjoy the process of putting new things together? Do we take creative culinary risks in order to learn, to grow—to become better?
We wanted to write a cookbook inspired by The Good Place because we were inspired by The Good Place. In a show that explores the meaning of life, food is a way to highlight values.
The Good Place’s creator, Michael Schur, brilliantly creates a vivid world and lovable, flawed characters. This cookbook is our love letter to the show—to food, to puns, and to philosophy. You can make these recipes for yourself or your family to accompany your next binge-watching session, or you can scale up for a viewing party with friends. These dishes were created with sharing in mind.
The Good Place loves its characters, and so we grew to care about them too. Through all of their mad adventures, we cheer them on to become better people. Along the way, their story inspires us to think about how we, too, can become better people.
Our hope with this cookbook is that after being inspired by The Good Place, maybe people will take a little time out to think about the role of food in their lives. After all, recipes are a lot like philosophical theories. Both are guidelines for how to do something that’s central to living.
Perhaps a little thoughtful reflection and some new dishes can do for us what philosophy and friendship did for Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, Michael, and Janet.
=Maybe thinking about the way we eat can actually change our lives.
We invite you to join us now as we try to cook our way into the Good Place.