Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley

ImageFoodies don’t just happen, they are raised. Lucy Knisley relates her young experiences with growing, preparing, and enjoying food in this fresh graphic novel for adults. Lucy’s mom is a chef, and when Lucy was little, she spent time as the kitchen mascot in many fine restaurants. As a gourmet, her dad taught her to appreciate the delicate nuances of the best dishes. They still get together to try out new restaurants.

When Lucy’s parents divorced, her mother moved the two of them out to the country and started raising her own vegetables and even kept chickens. Lucy hated the country! She was a city girl, but it wasn’t long before she was adept at helping her mother at farmer’s markets and in the garden. Furthermore, she became an expert at the one dish her mother wouldn’t make: chocolate chip cookies.

Traveling the world, growing into her own cooking and eating adventures, Lucy has acquired a vast knowledge of the gastronomic universe. Surprisingly, she is not opposed to fast food! Just not every day. If it’s possible for a graphic novel to be feminine, this one is just so. The colors, the drawing, all point to a young woman’s touch. No superheroes or women in spandex—although she does relate the time that her friend, Drew, discovered pornography in Mexico at the age of thirteen, so there are some surprising background drawings there.

Ms. Knisley tucks pages of recipes and food preparation instructions between the chapters, complete with diagrammed details of how to roll sushi or choose cheese. Whether you are interested in cooking or in memoirs of young chefs and artists, Relish will satisfy your cravings. If you’ve never read a graphic novel before, this is a great place to start. Charming.

Disclaimer: I read a library copy of this book. Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.

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