Title: Get Jiro!
Author: Anthony Bourdain with Joel Rose
Artist: Langdon Foss
Release date: July 4, 2012
Verdict: Very Tasty!
Ten years ago, the only celebrity Chef that I knew about was Emeril Legasse…and maybe Yan from the TV show, “Yan Can Cook”. The latter of which will mean nothing to people born later than the mid 1980’s. The idea of being a celebrity for being a chef, outside of China or Japan, was not unheard of; it just wasn’t what we cared about as a society. Then people like Jamie Oliver started showing up. Then it was guys like Joel Robuchon, Mario Battalli, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, and Nigella Lawson. Now we can’t swing a dead cat without smacking a celebrity chef in the face. They’re everywhere, and I couldn’t be happier.
Guys like Gordon Ramsay use their huge personalities to entertain us via multiple television shows (Hells Kitchen, Masterchef, Kitchen Nightmares, The F-Word), and guys like Jamie Oliver, also using television as a medium, are trying to change the way people look at food. Indeed the best, in my opinion, is Anthony Bourdain, who does both. This is a guy who has a show called No Reservations, which is shot with a minimalist crew and quickly, all over the world. He has no fear. He goes to remote locations and gives you not only a story of good food, but also a story about the locals and their history. He writes about it in non-fiction novels and in magazines, and even, once in a while, in fiction.
Mr. Bourdain’s writing career was originally in the realm of fiction. Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo are the two fiction novels he published before his rise to stardom with the massive hit, Kitchen Confidential. It was Kitchen Confidential that got me into his writing. I re-read the book at least once a year. But what has me excited this week is Mr. Bourdain’s return to the realm of fiction. And a glorious return it is, with his graphic novel debut, Get Jiro!, from DC’s adult oriented line, Vertigo Comics.
Get Jiro! is a one-shot original hardcover graphic novel, the kind of which Vertigo has become synonymous. Think Pride of Baghdad, Orbiter, or Luna Park. Beautifully rendered and stylized books that tell one story, and don’t continue after the fact. The perfect book to sit with for an hour, and read cover to cover. The artwork in Bourdain’s Get Jiro!, is by Langdon Foss, whom I’m embarrassed to say, I hadn’t heard of before this book. His gorgeous artwork totally captured the look and textures of the foods presented within, and his action flowed beautifully. This is a story about Celebrity Chef’s running the city in a near possible future, and what they will do to maintain their tenuous control of the culinary world and power they derive from it. Totally fun and engaging; I couldn’t recommend it any higher. I can’t wait to give it to my dad to read.
So what did you guys think? Any other big Anthony Bourdain fans out there? Let us know. Sound off in our handy comments section at the bottom.