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The Secret Lives of Chefs – less celebrity, more fun

I confess, I found these deliciously fun “Secret lives of chefs” comics via Tumblr. I have a love/hate relationship with Tumblr; I find the whole user experience a bit clunky, I never really got over the fact that somebody  (including me) can just steal your stuff by clicking “reblog” and I had to install a special plugin to block embarrassing images to appear on my screen at work, as they seem to be unavoidable even if you follow “safe” users.

the secret lives of chefs

But I still think that Tumblr is still much, much better than Pinterest to discover things which are bit less…ehm…cupcake-y – also, some great food blogs are hosted on Tumblr, like the always up-to-date LondonTastin. And then, from time to time you come across some really cool stuff - not just another recipe for Sunday roast or salted caramel brownies, but some edgy art (remember the “we had sex in this room” prints?) and even food- related art, like the “Delicious City prints“.

Or like these “Secret Lives of Chefs” illustrations made by Brooklyin-based artist Lisa Hanawalt. Aren’t they just great?

There’s Julia Child using brown roux to write letters, and bechamel as moisturiser (not so far fetched- I am a fan of edible skincare myself, like concoctions of argan oil, honey and milk) ...

Julia child secret life secret lives of chefs


Ferran Adria’ playing with foams and shapes in a fantasy “El Bulliland” fairground, whilst Wylie Dufresne uses liquid nitrogen as a weapon.

ferran adria secret life

My favourite though is Mario Batali – who allegedly goes around with a gangster-style briefcase which contains “pizza fixings” instead, and uses Crocs as pasta makers. The idea is at the same time slightly repellent, totally wacko and brilliant, which sums up this series as whole for me.

mario batali secret life


The illustrator Lisa Hanawalt will publish “The Secret Lives of Chefs” in her book My Dirty Dumb Eyes (Drawn & Quaterly, out end of May). I hope Amazon ships it in the UK!

What do you think? Can you imagine your favorite chef in a surreal fantasy scenario? Mine involves Gordon Ramsay and a “the king is naked” caption…

P.S. If you were thinking Tumblr is even too awesome, curb your enthusiasm- rumour has it it’s being bought by Yahoo. Yes, Yahoo still does exist.

Credits: all illustrations copyright Lisa Hanawalt, courtesy of Lisa Hanawalt via the Lucky Peach Tumblr (go follow it, it’s great if you like food and arts).


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