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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Gourmet Playing Cards (Alba Zapata x Riffle Shuffle) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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The Gourmet deck was the creation of Spanish based illustrator and graphic designer Alba Zapata for the brand Riffle Shuffle. Alba also produced the Sin City Las Vegas deck, and elements of the style of that previous release are also evident here.

An absolutely gorgeous tuck box greets us, and appropriately so, because we're about to embark on a delicious journey to explore some of the cuisines of Europe as we find them in this House of Gourmets. A matt black tuck box serves well as a backdrop for dishing up a combination of copper and pink foils, all fully embossed.


The front of the box depicts buildings and boats to help set the atmosphere for our European adventure. Meanwhile the back of the box has an intricate window-style design that gives us a peek of the artwork we can expect to find inside, including glimpses of wine glasses and casserole dishes. Once we crack open the custom seal and open the box, we are welcomed inside with the message "Bon Appetit" on the tuck flap. Next we discover full interior printing inside the box, which offers an exquisite tiled pattern of eats and drinks.

The court cards are the main attraction of this deck, and really showcase Alba Zapata's engaging and striking style. Each represents a different country and a different dish. Features include fish skewers in Spain (King of Spades), pizza, pasta and gelato in Venice (Jack of Hearts), wine, cheese and baguettes in France (King of Hearts), waffles and beer in Belgium (King of Clubs), milk and chocolate in Switzerland (Jack of Clubs), and sausage, pretzels, and beer in Germany (Jack of Spades).


With the lavish detail of the court cards, it would be a shame to have ordinary pips on the number cards. Fortunately they don't disappoint, and the pips have received the benefit of a stylish art nouveau style, with coloured borders and a patterned interior.

This late 19th century art style has influenced much of the design in this deck. Even the font used for the indices is far from standard, and every detail has been chosen to contribute to an overall custom look.


Some of the court cards also include pets, such as a rooster or a dove. My favourite is probably the Queen of Hearts, which features the royal corgis alongside the Queen of England, who is enjoying her cup of tea.

Meanwhile the pink and bronze design of the card backs matches what we've already seen on the back of the card box, with scenes that revolve around a small round dish of shrimp and fish in the middle.


The Aces are deliberately understated, aside from a gorgeous Ace of Spades, which is every deck's signature card. The two Jokers depict the "House of Gourmets" eating place, the first with an "Open" sign, the second with a "Closed" sign. The two extra cards are a double-backer and an ad card.

USPCC's thicker Premium stock (Bee Casino) has been used for the printing of this deck. USPCC decks are notorious for misaligned borders, but everything was right on target with my deck. It was just a bit of a pity an oversight during the creation of this deck means that the 9 of Hearts is missing the suit symbol on opposite corners. Fortunately some retailers will provide a corrected 9 of Hearts along with the deck.

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Gourmet Playing Cards (Alba Zapata x Riffle Shuffle) (0 Likes)
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