Brave Chef Brianna #1

Brave Chef Brianna #1

Brianna’s part of a cooking family. But with a celebrity chef father and a bunch of accomplished older brothers, she doesn’t feel good enough. Then dad announces he’s dying, and to establish his legacy, he tells his children to go start their own restaurants, and the one who is most successful will inherit it all. The first few pages set up the premise well:

Only Brianna isn’t particularly competitive, and her youth is a disadvantage. She jumps at an invite to come to affordable Monster City, which is well-named, since real monsters live there. Her first acquaintance (and eventual co-worker), for example, is a harpy, with bird legs and wings.

Brave Chef Brianna #1

Brave Chef Brianna #1 cover by Bridget Underwood

As written by Sam Sykes, what Brianna does have going for her is a willingness to work hard and a determination to create a place that suits and reflects her. Oh, and she can cook well. She’s not the best at research, though, or checking out the details before she jumps in. Thankfully, the quality of her food and her willingness to shut out the negative messages she hears in her head can make up for that. And her good heart wins over others, who help.

Selina Espiritu’s style is open and friendly, well-suited to both Brianna’s personality and the monster customers she develops. And her food illustrations look amazing!

Together, Sykes and Espiritu have created a welcoming book with a lead I’d like to know. Food, monsters, and learning how to make one’s place in the world is a potent combination well-suited to today’s audiences. And issue #1 is touted as having the “first-ever chalkboard back cover!” (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

Brave Chef Brianna #1 variant cover

Brave Chef Brianna #1 variant cover by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb

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