The Nightmare Before Dinner by Zach Neil

Any major fan of Tim Burton might be familiar with Beetle House, a restaurant where it’s always Halloween. While taking inspiration from Burton’s work, proprietor Zach Neil has crafted a menu that always hints at the fall season, with fresh and generous ingredients. Here, these recipes are collected in a sleek tome with a beautiful layout any Burton fan will love.


Any good cookbook needs perfect recipes and a great hook. Fortunately, The Nightmare Before Dinner delivers on both. It is light on recipes, with approximately 60, but it’s the perfect amount before the Tim Burton theme gets spread thin. Edward Burger Hands. Wonka Wings. Big Fish. It’s all here, and it never feels like the theme is shoehorned in. These are delicious sounding, often autumnally hearty, recipes with a fun twist.

The photographs are gorgeous and include lots of visual references to the Tim Burton aesthetic. The book is light on photographs, though, with only around half the recipes represented. As well, the portion on party planning is a little thin. The few parties mentioned include a menu and recommended decorations, but they are light on information. However, the recipes are solid, and many include vegan substitutes for animal-derived ingredients, which is a nice addition.

Title: The Nightmare Before Dinner
Author: Zach Neil
Publisher: Race Point Publishing
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Classification: Nonfiction, Cookbook

Neil’s Instagram | Publisher’s PageGoodreads

Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.

2 thoughts on “The Nightmare Before Dinner by Zach Neil

    1. It’s really a lot of fun! Almost missed it on NetGalley, too, but managed to wishlist it right before it was archived. It’s such a quirky little cookbook, and the Burton inspiration is so prevalent while still being appetizing.


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