My Life in the Kitchen

Graphic Novel - 2013
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Comments (33)

Jan 26, 2018

Charming memoir and exquisite drawings and - bonus! Recipes as well as family photographs. I hope she will publish more.

ArapahoeKati Jan 08, 2018

I haven't read too many graphic novels but this one whetted my appetite. (See what I did there?)

Dec 31, 2017

In this creative cookbook, Lucy shares a few family recipes and connects each of them to a memorable story from her past. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did.

Dec 03, 2017

Part of me is super jealous of her upbringing. Book has several recipes, but mostly it's a food focused memoir.

Jul 21, 2017

Lucy Knisley grew up surrounded by good food. Her mother was a cheesemonger when Lucy was in utero, and owned a catering business by the time Lucy was in high school. Her father who loved to eat in fine restaurants stayed in the city when Lucy and her mother moved into the Hudson River Valley when she was in grade school. Lucy reflects on her life growing up surrounded by magnificent food in this brightly and sensitively drawn graphic memoir, which includes illustrated recipes. Recommended for older readers due to the acknowledgement of pornography and alcohol. Age level: 12+

May 15, 2017

I usually don't read graphic novels, but I really loved this book! I really liked the way she tells her story of growing up, and her relationships with family and friends through food-related memories. She explains cooking and her experiences in the food industry in a way that makes it feel accessible. I have frequently felt defeated trying to cook mushrooms, but with her beautifully illustrated recipe, I feel encouraged to try again! Similarly, her "guide to cheeses" made me feel better that I don't really know how to describe or classify cheese! Her descriptions of food and the taste of things is so powerful, you will find yourself getting hungry reading this even if you didn't think you were! I highly recommend this book.

LPL_KimberlyL Apr 21, 2016

A mouth-watering graphic novel, perfect for anyone who just loves food. Lucy Knisley's art style is just as charming as her personality, and the recipes she includes are perfect for chefs, noobs, and anyone in between. Satisfy your inner foodie, and pick this one up!

FindingJane Jan 11, 2016

With a protagonist whose sensual palate helps formulate her memories, the reader is led on a taste-filled journey through the past. Ms. Knisley grew up with foodie parents, surrounded by cooks, bakers, eaters and critics. This graphic novel is the wonderful result.

Her tales of her father’s out-of-house dining in various restaurants and her mother’s in-house cooking that made her guests beam with pleasure are just the tip of the iceberg. Ms. Knisley traveled to foreign countries and sampled their cuisines. She worked in a cheese shop. She learned to bake (when her mother refused to make her boring chocolate chip cookies). She survived attacks by mean-spirited hens and roosters. The joys of Mexican food are contrasted with the bewildering experience of Japanese cuisine, which was torture for someone allergic to soy. (The jet lag was considerable and the prices of city food too astronomical for Lucy’s mother to manage.)

Her story is by turns sweet, sour, tart and bitter—as one would expect in a book about food. The illustrations are colorful and more than serviceable with food given prominence but not more so than anything else. Did I mention there are recipes in this book? Yes, there are, and they are written in easily accessible language and accompanying graphics that make them simple to follow.

This is a book I would heartily recommend to anyone who enjoys food, not only for its taste but for the vital role it plays in our lives.

Ms. Knisley recognized that food appreciation ranges the gamut for those who think of it as merely sustenance to those for cooking and eating are acts to be savored, as much as contemplating the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. This is a book I would heartily recommend to anyone who enjoys food, not only for its taste but for the vital role it plays in our lives.

PimaLib_SarahB Oct 15, 2015

Great story, great art, & lots of yummy looking recipes.

Sep 21, 2015

I’m a picky eater vegetarian who doesn’t like to cook, and yet I LOVED this book by an omnivorous chef’s daughter foodie. It transcends dietary preferences! It’s the story of Knisley growing up with food, and how it’s interwoven into her relationships, work, and life – intermixed with illustrated recipes for some of the dishes she describes.

Knisley is a wonderful cartoonist, and a thoughtful storyteller. Her encounter with a Richard Sera sculpture while working as catering staff at a museum party has particularly stuck with me, as an intersection in her life between food and art. If you’re at all interested in food, storytelling, autobiography, or books about families, please do check this one out.

CRRL_CraigGraziano Jul 16, 2015

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen zigzags between biography, cookbook, travelogue, and manifesto of all things culinary. What's more, her fun, vibrantly colorful artwork often made me very hungry. This is the mark of success for such a book.

Read more at:

PoMoLibrary Jul 09, 2015

From our 2015 #80DayRead Summer Reading Club traveler Justina: This author and cartoonist is amazing...her book makes me want to try new foods!

lbarkema Jan 14, 2015

I wish all cookbooks were like this! With anecdotes yes, but mostly with wonderfully and clearly drawn sketches for cooking/baking! A fun and short graphic memoir!

This is a quick and fun graphic memoir about growing up with food that's really easy to relate to. It also has some great illustrated recipes - I use the one for huevos rancheros on a regular basis!

Presented as a travel journal about the month she spent in Paris the winter before graduating from college, this is a love letter to Parisian food, museums, and shopping, as well as a look into depression and the angst that comes with the reality of facing adulthood. With mostly single-panel illustrated journal pages and some photos, this is a quick read and a nice slice-of-life memoir.

0Charlie Jul 12, 2014

This was a very enjoyable read. I didn't know what to expect - a graphic novel cookbook?- and found a delightful memoir of growing up with a profound love of and joy in food. I appreciated that this graphic novel was neither dark, angst-ridden or have tortured superheroes. Kinda like indulging in your favourite comfort food. I will be trying the recipes that are included (fun commentary along with the instructions). Recommended to those who love food and to those who enjoy exploring a different kind of book.

BCD2013 Jun 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Lucy shares lessons learned about food, cooking, and life.
- Selection Team

loveablelibrarian May 22, 2014

A treat reminiscent of Reichl's "Tender at the Bone". Relish similarly has the whole fascinating-life-story-anchored-around-food type thing that I so enjoyed in Reichl's work. Nothing delights me more than memoirs in Graphica and Relish did not disappoint. Recommended!

Apr 20, 2014

Relish is a heartwarming coming-of-age memoir about discovering some of the finest culinary delicacies the world has to offer. Lucy Knisley's story is elegant, colorful and doused with a homegrown humor sure to make you smile. She chronicles growing up in New York, traveling, going to art school, living on her own, and her entire life is punctuated by good food.

Tried-and-true recipes from the author's own experimentation book-end each chapter. These are a nice flourishes though the book's heart remains her own story.


This book was a random pick for me. I flipped through the pages and thought wow this is kind of unique compared to the graphic novels I read. I never imagined that I would end up loving this book. This book deserves more than 5 stars. Go ahead purchase/checkout this book. You won't be disappointed.

JCLHopeH Feb 23, 2014

I really enjoyed this playful, food-focused memoir. I found her very relatable. Knisley put her talents to good use making this graphic novel, and I loved the creative way she drew the recipes that closed out each chapter. This is cataloged for teens, but I think readers at any age could enjoy it. She also has a super cute and creative résumé at

JCLChristiH Jan 29, 2014

Be prepared to get hungry and feel many and varied food cravings while reading this book.

Jan 03, 2014

Lucy's stories of growing up with "foodie" parents were a treat. Her descriptions of the food she ate or prepared were so mouthwatering that I wanted to try them at once! I enjoyed the travelogue aspect of this book also. It reminded me a bit of Peter Mayle's Provence books, but in graphic format. Travel and food, two of my favorite things!

Dec 23, 2013

Delicious recipes interlaced with bright pictures telling stories linked to sense memories... a true delight! Side note: Knisley's chocolate chip recipe is to die for.

JCLChrisK Dec 23, 2013

I have to admit up front I'm not the ideal audience for this book. Yes, I enjoy food and have even been called a foodie. I have a lot of fun in the kitchen learning new things, cooking for others, and trying experiments for myself, and have been told I have some instinctive talent. I have been hooked on Iron Chef, Anthony Bourdain, and other Food Network shows in the past. Food movies, too. But recipe books have never excited me--rarely interest me at all, in fact--and I haven't ever encountered food writing that I was able to get into.
So I knew going into Relish that the recipe and food aspects of the book probably wouldn't hold huge appeal for me (though I do love the idea as a thematic approach) and hoped to connect with it from a storytelling angle. I was able to, but wasn't blown away. Knisely is a good enough storyteller that I was interested and engaged, but I think she could have structured her stories much more effectively and used much more vivid, evocative language. I found Chapter 5, "Getting Ours," the most successful and appealing. It's clear to me that she is an artist first, because her illustrations were the strongest part of her book. Visually, her storytelling is top notch--appealing, engaging, vivid, evocative, and all the other descriptors I've wished would have been stronger in her words. So while I wasn't blown away, this is definitely a good book and I can understand why so many other readers have enjoyed it more than I did.

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