Iron Wok Jan by Shinji Saijyo
The Goods: In this so-ludicrous-it's-awesome comic, a group of teenage Japanese chefs perfect the art of Chinese cookery and battle one another in one cooking competition after another for... hmmm... actually, it's never made entirely clear what they're battling for. Maybe glory or something. Our anti-hero, Jan, is the biggest douche you'd ever hope to meet. He's merciless to his rivals, worse to his friends, and isn't above poisoning the occasional judge. And each book includes recipes.
Thoughts: Actually, I loathe manga. I find it skeevy. However, knowing how much I love cooking and foodie stuff in general, a friend promised me I'd love this one, and she was not wrong. Saijyo throws enough twists into each contest to keep the bake-off premise fresh, the plots are goofily fun, and the female characters don't have that manga-Lolita thing going on.
If you like...: watching Iron Chef, this book is for you.