I was very excited when this comic was announced, being a fan of everything Bourdain does, but I remember reading quite a few bad reviews for it. Comics are expensive, so I do like to be selective, but having read it now, it was actually much better than I thought it would be. He didn’t reinvent the medium or anything, but for a first time comic writer, it was an enjoyable story.
This takes place in a future L.A. where the city is now ruled by chefs, essentially crime lords with nice knife sets. All forms of entertainment are now gone. There are no sport teams anymore and no performing arts. Food is society’s main source of pleasure and extravagance. There are two main warring factions in power – one brings food in from around the globe to make specialty dishes and the other will only cook organic and local vegetarian food. Bourdain loves to take digs at the veggie crowd, which he gleefully does here, but both sides are equally demented.
Jiro is a renowned sushi chef and both factions want him. He has to decide which side, if any, to join. If he turns down either of these chefs, they’ll be after blood.
The plot is silly, the characters aren’t as interesting as they could have been, and the dialogue is a bit stilted, but it was a fun read. It’s hyper-violent and amusing, and it both pokes fun at and shows reverence to different aspects of food culture. Worth reading if you find yourself with a copy, but I probably wouldn’t run out to buy it unless you’re particularly interested in everything Bourdain does.