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The cake is the truth: Chef whips up video game recipes

The Gourmet Gaming blog plucks foods from video games out of their virtual worlds and offers them as real-life recipes. Think Cluckin' Bell Fowl Burger from Grand Theft Auto IV and Bioshock Finkton's Baked Beans.

Portal cake from Gourmet Gaming
The cake is a lie. This Portal cake was the debut post for Gourmet Gaming. Daniella Zelli

Gaming and snacks have gone hand-in-hand for a long time. You could settle for the old standbys of Jolt Cola and Doritos, but that takes no imagination. Instead, let's step into the world of Daniella Zelli, the woman behind Gourmet Gaming, a blog dedicated to plucking foods from the virtual gaming world and making them real.

Zelli has crafted recipes for everything from Bioshock: Infinite's Finkton's Baked Beans to D'Ni Mushroom Bread from Myst III: Exile. She shares photos of her food along with detailed recipes and instructions for making them yourself.

Zelli's cooking odyssey began with the game Deadly Premonition, a psychological horror-comedy featuring an FBI agent investigating a murder. "Deadly Premonition has a very infamous sandwich called 'The Sinner's Sandwich' that one of the characters eats in the game. The Sinner's Sandwich is a bizarre concoction of white bread, turkey, strawberry jam, and cereal," Zelli tells Crave.

Minecraft cake
Minecraft cake is squared-off deliciousness. (Click to enlarge.) Daniella Zelli

That sandwich resulted in a Deadly Premonition-themed snack-fest to go along with her friends playing the game. "I began to think of how foods are quite central to a lot of other video games and the idea grew from there," she says.

Since there isn't a cookbook for video game recipes, Zelli is pretty much on her own, willing her creations into real life. Some of her attempts have missed the mark. "There have been a lot of failures and many posts don't even make it onto the Web site if I'm not happy with the results!" she says. Each dish is marked with a difficultly level so home cooks know what they're getting into.

One of Zelli's most popular and most challenging dishes was the Minecraft Cake, which came about at the behest of friends, though Zelli is not a player of the game. "Getting all the dimensions correct was incredibly time-consuming and difficult so I'm glad it paid off," she notes. Zelli's cooking skills are up to the task, but the harder part of making video-game food is getting the look right.

Zelli sees her gaming-food mission as another step to greater immersion in a game's world. Her blog has attracted chefs and artists, as well as gamers. "Video games have such rich and detailed stories and environments, I love that I get to explore and share games with the community in a way no one else does," she says.

Gourmet Gaming is notable not just for its achievements in fictional food, but for the photography that entices you to both make the recipe and play the game. You may have never tackled The World Ends With You on Nintendo DS, but after seeing Zelli's re-creation of the Absolute Shadow Ramen, you'll be hungry and ready to put your fingers in motion.

Feast your eyes on some of Zelli's concoctions and see how many you remember from the games.