relishLucy Knisley is an illustrator who loves food.  Raised by foodies before they would have been called foodies, Knisley writes and draws about her life through the lens of the meals that she ate.  Foie Gras, Kraft Mac and Cheese, apricot jam filled croissants, sushi, fresh tamales, and cherry tomatoes right off the vine all bring back significant memories in Knisley’s life and pepper Relish: My Life in the Kitchen with funny stories and delicious recollections.

I had read Knisley’s previous foray into food themed graphic novel memoirs French Milk, about her trip to Paris with her mother following her graduation from college, and I wasn’t particularly impressed.  But after reading positive reviews of Relish, I decided to give Knisley another chance.  I am so glad that I did.  She seems to have found her voice (and a better editor) for this book, and has included delightful illustrated recipes at the end of each chapter.  It left me wishing that she would write a full graphic novel cookbook.  Each of these recipes calls back to a specific memory in Knisley’s life, from childhood to the present, shaping the person she has become.  Knisley’s passion is infectious, and this would be a great read for anyone with a lost young adult in their life.