Comic Cuisine

Before social-distancing, I thought I was a pretty decent home cook. Now, after eating nothing but my own cooking for two weeks, I’ve discovered that I only know about five recipes. For anyone in a similar boat, the library has nearly 2,000 digital cookbooks to inspire your cooking adventures.

Personally though, most of those cookbooks don’t work well for me—I need step by step help and looking at a huge block of text on a recipe usually makes my attention wander. The solution? Comic cookbooks! These cookbooks often encompass multiple genres combining travelogue, memoir, food history, and – most importantly – recipes in graphic novel format that are engaging and easy to follow.

A sampling of the comic cookbooks in our collection:

Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin HaCook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin Ha
Ha’s personal and educational approach to Korean food makes it feel like I’m learning to cook from a friend. In addition to 65 recipes, she also helps the reader connect more deeply to Korean cuisine by sharing food histories, regional variations, and anecdotes.

Let's Make Ramen by Hugh Amano and Sarah BecanLet’s Make Ramen! A Comic Book Cookbook by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan
Let’s Make Ramen! breaks the art of ramen making down into easier-to-tackle parts, meticulously explaining how to make broth, noodles, meat, and other toppings. As a result the recipes are extremely accessible and customizable. There’s even a section at the end for experimental flavors like adobo chicken ramen!

Relish My Life in the Kitchen book by Lucy KnisleyRelish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
This is more of a comic memoir that includes recipes and is not as cooking intensive as the previous titles. Here, Knisley explores the relationship between food and memory and how a certain taste (like cheese) can come to represent childhood. Bonus: Lucy Knisley also has a delightful instagram blog dedicated to cooking experiments called Condiment Raccoon.

If you’re in more in the mood for comics about food and people who love it, here are some more suggestions:

Dirt Candy by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey

To Eat and To Drink by Guillaume Long

Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose

Get Jiro! By Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose

Rutabaga The Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal

Flavor by Joseph Keatinge and Wook Jin Clark

The Comic Book Story of Beer by Johnathan Hennessey and Mike Smith

The Initiates: A Comic Artist and A Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs by Étienne Davodeau

Stay healthy, and eat well!

~Posted by Michelle T.

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