Books about food and cooking make up a surprisingly broad and varied genre; from microhistories to murder mysteries there’s bound to be something for everyone’s tastes. Comics are an especially good format for reveling in the sensory joys of cooking, but the three titles below stand out from the pack for featuring weird and wondrous dishes in fantasy settings, made of monster parts, mystical herbs and a healthy dose of adventure. Let’s dig in!
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal
Rutabaga and his trusty cooking pot (appropriately named “Pot”) wander the kingdom searching for adventure and adventurous ingredients in this two-book series. The art in this comic is bright and fun, with great comedic timing that will have you laughing out loud as the hero and his intrepid friends cook their way into and out of trouble, making new friends and foes along the way. For ages 8 and up.
Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes, Selina Espiritu, and Sarah Stern
When Brianna’s legendary restaurateur father issues a challenge to his children to see who run the best restaurant, Brianna must compete against her fifteen brothers to open and run her own business. She’s got the family gift for cooking and is ready to prove herself, but the only place she can afford to open a restaurant is Monster City, where the rent is low and human food is illegal. As Brianna confronts the struggles of running her unusual restaurant, she must also battle through self-doubt and depression to make her dreams come true in this diverse and whimsically colorful single-volume miniseries. For elementary age kids and up.
Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui
This manga series is set in a classic fantasy RPG world, where a group of dragon-seeking adventurers find they can’t get very far in the local dungeon before they have to leave again to replenish their food supplies. When they come across a mysterious dwarf who has made the dungeon his home, they discover that the dungeon is a diverse and complex ecosystem, full of opportunities for hunting, gathering, and cultivation. The friends learn to make recipes such as roast basilisk, mandrake kakiage, and how to grow vegetable patches on the backs of golems. Illustrated in lovely detailed black and white art, this series is ongoing, with five volumes currently out. For teens and up.
Check out your next monster munchies fix today!