Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Book Review - Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley


Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

A vibrant, food-themed memoir from beloved indie cartoonist Lucy Knisley.

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

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 co
mpulsion, or a
consumer product.

I love reading about food. I love reading memoir. But I haven't read a lot of graphic novels, but I am very glad I read this!

This is a refreshing and cute book. And the author/artist reminded me of myself a bit, especially with her views on food - she loves the exotic/gourmet food, but her guilty pleasure is French fries from McDonalds... yes I know they are bad for you but they are probably one of my favorite fries (given that I only eat them once a year at most, I don't feel so bad about it...) The biggest difference between us is that she actually cooks/bakes in the kitchen, while I dream that I can.

It was fun to read about her relationships with her parents and their impact on her regarding food. Her other stories about food and friends are also heartwarming. At the end of each chapter there are also recipes she drawn - very cool.

My favorite though, has to be the last chapter when she drew about her behind-the-scene experience at one of the best restaurants in the US (if not the world) - Alinea in Chicago. If there's just ONE restaurant I can try in the US, this is where I'd pick (read about the memoir written by the chef and business partner of Alinea I'd reviewed earlier here). Apparently she got invited to the kitchen after one of the owners saw her drawings about her actual eating experience at the restaurant (which I want to read!!). I was so jealous that she got to see the action! Though it seems there were equal amount of cooking and cleaning back there - which is good... who wants to eat from a dirty kitchen?

4 Stars (this is more like 4.25... not quite 4.5 because it just lacks a bit of depth, but it was a very enjoyable read nevertheless.)

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

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  1. Replies
    1. Very quick read, so even if it's not your thing, at least you won't lose too much time :)