Thursday, 31 January 2013

Food Comics: In the Kitchen with Alain Passard & Christophe Blain and Relish by Lucy Knisley

I was going through the Chronicle catalogue the other day and came across the upcoming English language release of Alain Passard's (a renowned thrice Michellin-starred chef) In the Kitchen. Which is excellent news, as it reminded me of its existence- I sort of remember vaguely hearing about it last year and then promptly forgot about it. It's illustrated and also to some extent, written, I would assume, by none other than my current favourite, French maestro Christophe Blain. More from the catalogue synopsis:
'Available in English for the very first time, In the Kitchen with Alain Passard is the first graphic novel to enter the kitchen of a master chef. Over the course of three years, illustrator Christophe Blain trailed acclaimed chef Alain Passard through his kitchens and gardens. With simple yet sublime drawings and thousands of colorful panels, this book gives the reader an inside, uncensored look at the world of Passard, who shocked the food universe in 2001 by removing meat from the menu at his celebrated Paris restaurant, L''Arpege, and dedicating himself to serving vegetables from his own organic farms. This irresistible hardcover combines a portrait of an amazing chef, an inside look at his creative process, and a humorous riff on fine dining culture - plus fifteen recipes for the home kitchen - in one haute cuisine comic book for foodies.'

Is there a greater zenith to be achieved above the combination of food and comics?  I'm really appreciating them at the moment: yesterday saw the arrival of Lucy Knisley's much-anticipated Relish (another food comic/memoir) from First Second and I only had the opportunity for a quick flick-through before going to bed, but it looks fantastic. Here's the offiicial line:
'Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe - many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions. A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.'
 And a quick look at a couple of pages (look- so pretty!) You can see more at Lucy's site:

Do you feel hungry yet? Buy these books- they're guaranteed awesome.

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