cover image The Art of Sushi

The Art of Sushi

Franckie Alarcon, trans. from the French by Peter Russella. NBM, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-68112-285-4

Alarcon (The Secrets of Chocolate) returns to the culinary world with this informative and appetizing comics chronicle covering every aspect of the Japanese sushi experience from growing rice and making soy sauce to the many ways fish are caught and prepared. Alarcon travels from France to Tokyo to the Japanese countryside, interviewing sushi chefs working with both traditional and modern techniques, following fishermen, and meeting artisanal craftspeople from all the industries that help make sushi so delicious. The (perhaps unsurprising) secret? High-quality ingredients and careful preparation. The back matter provides recipes for home cooks to try out, as well as a list of restaurants visited and recommendations for places to buy utensils and ingredients in the United States. The mostly monochromatic art style with spots of color is clear and easy to follow, and though it’s a bit bland (could use some wasabi), it maintains a respectful presentation that avoids exoticizing. This straightforward food-fan comic offers armchair tourism and meal-plan inspiration. (Dec.)