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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  12,544 Ratings  ·  1,523 Reviews
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, cooki
Paperback, 173 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
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A. S. This is a memoir that's more suitable for adults. The content includes a coming of age in Mexico that recounts her friend discovering adult magazines…moreThis is a memoir that's more suitable for adults. The content includes a coming of age in Mexico that recounts her friend discovering adult magazines and herself menstruating, and one of the recipes is one for sangria. Some parents might find that content objectionable.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
A foodie graphic novel. This is getting ALL THE STARS!!

Do not attempt to read this book if you are hungry. Do not attempt to read this book if you are even thinking about being hungry.

Lucy Knisley was born to two people who love food. She was introduced to a sophisticated palate pretty much at birth.

This book is told as a memoir of her growing up years. Food and tastes serve as memories for her (and me) so she takes us on a journey of her childhood through food.

She moves to the country with h
First Second Books
Jan 08, 2014 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications
One of the most interesting parts about publishing books with cooking in them is recipe-testing them!

(We run into people all the time who are like, 'Publishers actually make all the recipes in the cookbooks they publish to make sure they work? Are you . . . crazy?' But of course we do -- the same way that textbook publishers check all the facts that are in their textbooks. Cookbooks are one of the easiest things to mess up with accidental typos, second to math books -- if you change just one num
Seth T.
Jan 29, 2013 Seth T. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I was unlucky in birth. I mean, sort of. Really everything went pretty swimmingly save for the fact that I was born with a very narrow palette. My range of acceptable tastes and textures is lean and withered. I am, others have judged, a picky eater.

Relish by Lucy Knisley

[This was not me.]

I'm fine with a small battery of stand-bys (meats, potatoes, dairy, most fruits), but vegetables and items with more exotic textures remain holy and set apart for sacrifice to other eaters. I mean, I absolutely adore steamed articho
Nov 30, 2016 PorshaJo rated it really liked it
I'll be honest....I avoided this one for so long because I heard it was part graphic novel. It's just not my thing. But recently, I just can't get into anything, and I just wanted to read about my favorite thing...FOOD! I love reading cookbooks or food memoirs, etc. So finally, I decided to pick this one up. And I'm so glad I did. What a charming book. Lucy Knisley was always surrounded by food. Her parents, "foodies", instilled these values in her at a very young age. Lucy was never one to open ...more
Charles Hatfield
Aug 21, 2013 Charles Hatfield rated it liked it
Relish is a foodie memoir for the non-specialist: a gourmet's gift to the ordinary gourmands among us, told with love and verve from a unabashedly personal, often child's-eye perspective. It's about growing up around good food, great cooks, and passionate eaters. Alternately charming and frustrating, the book wobbles from guileless self-absorption to attempted deep insights, aided considerably by Knisley's crisp, delightful cartooning and gorgeous color palette. I kept wanting to dislike it, and ...more
May 05, 2013 Oriana rated it really liked it
This is a fun memoir. It's really a series of vignettes of a life in food: grandma's pickles, a perfect croissant in Venice, Mom's chocolate-chip cookies, seared halibut with Dad. Lucy was born & raised a foodie before there was even such a term. Her mom worked at the very first Dean & Deluca in NYC in the 70s, and was behind the cheese counter for most of her pregnancy. They then moved upstate and Lucy spent her adolescence in farms, farmers markets, and working as a waitress for her ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Rachael rated it it was ok
"I was a child raised by foodies". I almost puked at the opening sentence. The precious musings of a privileged art school student who grows up surrounded by good food and learns to appreciate home cooked meals. The highlights of this book are the recipes which I'm excited to try and the author's art works well here illustrating different techniques and food preparation. I also loved that the author grew up near Greig Farm and both her and her mother worked at the farm stand! Greig Farm is great ...more
May 25, 2013 Didi rated it really liked it
I picked this graphic novel up not really knowing what to expect and truly loved it. It's a trip down Lucy Knisley's memory lane with food. She brilliantly explores all types of cuisine and each chapter ends in a recipe. There's an in-depth blog review over at Worth the read if you like reading books that talk about food and life.
Dec 23, 2013 Sesana rated it really liked it
This is absolutely not the book to read on an empty stomach. Relish is all about the love of food, and it's infectious. It's a very loose memoir, written as a graphic novel. So it isn't a strict timeline, covering every event in her life. Just the ones touched by food. And being the daughter of foodie parents, with a mother who runs an upscale catering business, there's been a lot of food, very good food, and from a very early age.

But it isn't just good food. Knisley can write just as lovingly
Dec 26, 2013 christa rated it really liked it
This is huge: Lucy Knisley made me mushroom curious. Me. A lifelong hater of all things fungal. I always imagine them as something slick and slug-like, tasting of moldy earth. My mom would take a can, open the lid, pluck fingerfuls of mushrooms the way I do now with black olives. She would give me contradictory messages: So good, she would say. I’d grimace. You can’t even taste them, she would then say. She would dump them into the pasta sauce, ensuring that I would stick to plain noodles with ...more
Melissa Chung
Mar 27, 2016 Melissa Chung rated it it was amazing
My favorite graphic novel of the weekend. I loved every panel, page and recipe. I actually feel like crying because even though this book isn't actually emotional. I feel emotional having reached its end.

Some people remember things from the past through smell. A perfume, a shampoo, maybe even the smell of cigars. Some people can pick out memories through positive and negative experiences. In the case of Lucy Knisley, she remembered her childhood through food. I really enjoyed reading stories fro
Apr 28, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
Truly enjoyed the bits about food, cooking, recipes and family. Wish it had been all that. As an artist and food lover, a graphic memoir seems the right vehicle to explore her enjoyment of both.

My favorite panel depicts a large group of people sitting around a table sharing a meal. The caption reads "I love the treat and pleasure of eating when it becomes an act of focused giving and sharing."
Food + illustrations + memoir = totally my kind of book!!!!!

Not only are the illustrations and coloring so gorgeous to make me hungry whenever I read this, Lucy Knisley's storytelling skills and amazing experiences make this a super enjoyable read! Very hilarious and very imaginative. Love it!! :) gonna go get some food now....
Stacey (prettybooks)
I first came across this foodie graphic memoir when I saw that it had been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in 2013. I love books and I love food, so I added it to my wishlist straight away. It wasn't until last month that I finally got around to buying it, after a trip to Gosh! Comics with Debbie. We had never visited Gosh! before (neither of us have read many graphic novels or comics) and were looking forward to it. We loved the huge curated display table as soon as you set foot through ...more
This was great fun, a graphic food memoir, my first! (Just to clarify, my first graphic food memoir, that is, not my first graphic novel.)

Knisley takes us through her childhood and eating and cooking with her father, who lives in Manhattan, and her mother, who moved to upstate New York. Travels, foods, all with accompanying recipes, it led for a pleasurable reading experience. And her art work is spot on. I loved it! As an aside, for those who do like to read food memoirs, I believe Alison Bechd
Nov 20, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
This is delightful! Wonderful little illustrations that made me wonder why I'm not living in Chicago, going to art school & working behind a fancy cheese counter in my off time, at least until I realize that I can't draw or paint & I hate cheese. I especially love memoirs about women who have lovely adult relationships with their mothers, because I find that notion is so foreign & beautiful. The recipe illustrations are totally top-notch.
Jul 15, 2015 Cath rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I liked this! I so wish I actually owned this (this was a library book) cause there are so many amazing recipes in here that I'd love to try out!
I preferred this to French Milk mainly because of the colour!!! French Milk was all black and white so this was really nice!
Jenny Ko
Feb 24, 2016 Jenny Ko rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Ενα πολύ ωραίο graphic novel που θα σε βγάλει από την βαρεμάρα με τα υπέροχα γραφικά και το χιούμορ του!
Συνιστάται πιο πολύ σε γυναικείο κοινό καθώς και σε λάτρεις της γαστρονομίας. Διαβάστε το με γεμάτο το στομάχι! χεχε!
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Feb 12, 2016 Rachel (Kalanadi) rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This was sweet - all about food memories! Very cute art style. And I liked the recipes at the end of each chapter!
Jul 18, 2015 Kaye rated it it was amazing
It is rather ironic that, not even forty-eight hours after Ramadan ended, I am sitting here and fighting the urge to lick my fingers - over a graphic novel.

I think the particular beauty of Ramadan, and Relish as well, is that it all rests in being grateful for what you have, and appreciating it more when you have it in front of you. You can have the simplest Iftar and close your eyes in bliss in the first moments of it rolling over your taste buds: a pot of simply served ramen, a few dates and a
This graphic memoir is fantastic, especially if you are at all into food, either the cooking of it or the eating of it.

There's not a strong narrative, but rather, this is a collection of vignettes. Lucy shares stories of growing up in a family that relishes in cooking and eating good food. But it's not an upturned-nose sort of foodie memoir, which is why I appreciated it so much. It's about the joy of and celebration of the role food plays in a social way and in a very personal way. It doesn't m
Amanda Arruda
Aug 11, 2015 Amanda Arruda rated it it was amazing
I've loved this book so much that it hurts. Lucy drawings and stories are great, the right amount of funny and heart-warming. I'm already setting me up to re-read it, because I think this is a book that should be savoured (and I was too excited, this first time, to calm down and enjoy the moment). I really suggest this reading to every person who loves food and memories connected to food. Plus, there are great recipes in this book!
May 17, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
I picked this up after glowing recommendations from two friends whose opinions I trust. I like food. I like talking about food. I like illustrated things. I am the target market for this type of book.

but unfortunately somehow it never caught fire with me like it did with my friends. I can't think of a single negative thing to say - nothing Knisley did or said or drew was off-putting. It was all quality work. It just didn't gel with me, and I can't point at any one reason why.
Bonnie G.
I DEVOURED this book (pun fully intended).

But before you envision me gorging this book, I actually restrained myself. Instead of a graphic novel buffet or smorgasbord, I treated as though an 8 course meal. And I def read it in bed. Before going to sleep.

If you want to go to sleep a happy person, imagine strawberries and sushi and farmers markets and vegan shepherds pie dancing through your head. A preemptive strike against bad dreams!
Sep 23, 2015 Spirou rated it really liked it
Πολύ διασκεδαστικό βιβλίο! Το διάβασα μέσα σε 2 ημέρες και με έβγαλε από το reader's block (όπως λέει και ο Michael!!) που είχα όλο το καλοκαίρι! Βιντεο-review μπορείτε να δείτε εδώ
Jackie Bryant
Feb 19, 2016 Jackie Bryant rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2016
I checked out 4 books by Lucy Knisley from the library. I've read 3 of them in the past 24-ish hours.

Needless to say, I'm enjoying them. :)
Sarah Actually
Mar 28, 2015 Sarah Actually rated it it was amazing
If you want to be inspired to start cooking more, read this book.
Aug 12, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it
Loved this. Loved it a lot. That's all.
Cookbook authors who write for children have known this for decades - sequential art is an ideal medium for cooking instructions.

Knisley has come a long way since French Milk*. Her storytelling is more developed. I also like how she uses color in this story, and it's nice the way she weaves together memoir content with recipes.

There's no attempt at comprehension here (though Alison Bechdel's blurb on the cover might lead you to expect otherwise) - just one recipe at the end of each chapter. Most

I remember food like that too, Lucy. The roadside taquerias, the garden-fresh greens, my grandfather's pickles, ripe jungle fruits, the hot falafel and hummus, the bread bowl stews... mmmm. That's why I loved your book so much. A graphic food memoir checks several of my "favorites" boxes - plus, I am a big fan of your art and style, after reading your 2015 Displacement: A Travelogue a few months ago.

Your book was charming and sweet, telling your family's story, your own, the cities you've lived
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Beginning with an love for Archie comics and Calvin and Hobbes, Lucy Knisley (pronounced "nigh-zlee") has always thought of cartooning as the only profession she is suited for. A New York City kid raised by a family of foodies, Lucy is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago currently pursuing an MFA at the Center for Cartoon Studies. While completing her BFA at the School of the ...more
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“I love the treat and pleasure of eating when it becomes an act of focused giving and sharing...Wasting money and appetite on bad food is disappointing, but it doesn't matter when the company is good...[T]here's a lot to be said for eating as a social act. It's a treat, even when the food is bad.” 10 likes
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