When I request a book from NetGalley, I have high hopes that I will enjoy it. I have loved graphic novels that are cookbooks or food centric memoirs. I think communicating about food lends itself to illustration. Cartoonist Guillaume Long writes a culinary comic for Le Monde, “To Drink and To Eat.” While I wasn’t familiar with him, he is apparently well loved.
Unfortunately, Long got on the wrong foot with me by writing a jokey little story with recipe about Paul Gauguin moving to Tahiti because of peas and carrots. I realize the term pedophile gets thrown around a lot, but Paul Gauguin did actually sleep with, marry, and father children with young teenage girls. A one page recipe about peas and carrots with bacon did not need to include Paul Gauguin, or imply that adult women found him sexy. But Long chose to do that for whatever reason.
Even if Long hadn’t sprung an unnecessary Gauguin on me, his storytelling still wouldn’t have been my style. He makes fun of his African American friend’s Southern accent (she’s probably fine with it, I was annoyed). The whole joke about using spaghetti carbonara to pick up “dames” felt tiresome. He’s a middle aged white man from France who hasn’t been asked to interrogate his world view. A lot of people are fine with that and will be fine with To Eat and To Drink, Volume 2.
As for the recipes, they are pretty decent. Some of the ingredients are going to be a challenge for American kitchens. I thought his mother’s Danish style smoked salmon recipe looked good. The pickled cherries is definitely something I would try, my caveat being that in a more southern climate, you are going to want to keep your pickled cherries in the fridge, or go through a sterile canning process. It may have been the PDF format of the arc I was viewing, but sometimes the artwork and lettering made it hard to follow the recipe. I wouldn’t recommend this as an ebook.
Some people will enjoy this. It wasn’t for me. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an arc in exchange for an honest review.