Relish: An illustrated food memoir by Lucy Knisley

Hi all, it’s Andrew here with another book review.

Did you know that Kelly and I met in art school? We went to the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Kelly majored in photography, and I studied graphic design. (I love that these two things come together every day in the Spunky Coconut books and blog.)

While in school I knew of a couple students who drew serious comic books, but for the most part I had thought of “comics” as either superheroes or the funny pages. After joining Twitter a few years ago I stumbled upon the independent comic book community. The artists in this genre tell thoughtful and humorous stories in an illustrated form. One of the comic artists I follow is Lucy Knisley. Her newest book, Relish, was released earlier this month, and her publisher was nice enough to send me a copy to review.

Knisley’s Relish is a charming foodie-autobiography. Readers are treated to tales of childhood family dinners; bustling restaurant kitchens; work on her mother’s farm and catering business (where she brought coffee to a shivering Kate Hudson at Vanity Fair photo shoot!); culinary trips to Mexico, Japan, and Italy; and post-college cooking on her own. The stories are a meaningful mix of food and her relationships with parents and friends.

Lucy has a delightfully illustrated book tour schedule on her blog. For the next few days she’ll be in Portland, OR, then she’s off to Seattle. This review is coming in after most of the tour dates, but you can be sure that those bookstores still have copies for sale.

There are illustrated recipes too, and lots of them happen to be gluten-free!


Note to parents: I’d say this book is best for teens and older (not for little kids). There isn’t anything graphically shocking in here, but I should mention that one of her stories discusses how a fox killed one of her mom’s chickens, and another story pokes fun of her 15-year-old friend who bought nudie magazines in Mexico.


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