Here's a look at the galley of chef Amanda Cohen's forthcoming Dirt Candy cookbook, drawn by Ryan Dunlavey. Yes, drawn: Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant is a clever comic book retelling (with recipes) of Cohen's experiences opening and running her vegetarian New York restaurant Dirt Candy, from dealings with shady contractors to appearing on Iron Chef America.
The comic format, it turns out, is particularly useful in conveying the hectic life of a restaurant in ways that simple words or photos don't always get across. Guests order drinks, servers run back and forth, and cooks man several stations all at once in different frames on the same page. And in the middle of it all, Cohen her-cartoon-self attempts to keep her cool and bring vegetables to the people in a world filled with pork-obsessed restaurants.
This is not the last of the comic-cookbooks, either: Martha Stewart (who makes a cameo in Dirt Candy) is getting a comic book about her life, and Chris Cosentino will appear in an issue of Wolverine. Anthony Bourdain's comic book about ultra violent food nerds, Get Jiro, is coming out in July. Is this the dawn of the comic-cookbook era?
Dirt Candy comes out from Clarkson Potter on August 21; pre-order on Amazon.