Life in EL; The Comic
Examining the unsustainable nature of life as a chef, and calling out some dangerous - yet deeply indoctrinated - mantras of kitchen culture, Life in EL, The Saga of the Immaculate Toque, is a graphic novel by Chef Phillip Foss and comic artist and cousin, Timothy Foss.
While reconnecting with my cousin and comic artist, Timothy Foss at a family reunion in 2015, the subject of collaborating on a culinary comic book came up. It felt like it might fly, but since both of us own businesses and have families, we agreed the project needed to be driven by pure faith and passion. Unfortunately, that's something the world likes to take back as much as it seems to dole out upon reaching mid-life.
But we kept grinding, and when we met in late 2018 in his home town of Minneapolis, all that needed to be drawn was the ending of the first episode. I had scripts ready for episodes 2 & 3, but I could tell he wasn’t deeply motivated to draw the remainder of the story. He felt like we could do more with it. So we decided to throw all of that into the wind to rewrite the ending. So the 32 page comic book morphed into a 78 page graphic novel.
Completing that was transformative for me. I learned I was a storyteller at heart, and that being a chef was just a stepping stone to that discovery. I also learned that collaborating with others at EL all these years prepared me to collaborate with my cousin. And even though I question the mantra of ‘pushing harder’ in the story, the effort it took to serve this to the world was so much more than any I’ve ever put into a dish. To be sure, the process of reconnecting with Josh turned Phillip inside out. I hope it connects with you. Expecting it to land October, 2019