Emmanuelle Maisonneuve and Julia Pavlowitch

Color illustrations by Kan Takahama

(Les Arènes BD, 2018, 200 pages)






At the age of thirty, having simply sent in her résumé, Emma sees her childhood dream come true: She is hired and joins the team of inspectors at the prestigious Michelin Guides. The only woman on the team at the time, she stands out among her colleagues for her youth and spontaneity. Blessed with an extraordinary sense of taste, Emma swiftly silences all snide remarks, and establishes herself as an unusual addition to this habitually discreet and highly demanding institution.

Emma’s inspection rounds take her on road trips across France to find not the great Michelin-starred restaurants—that remains the privileged role of the highest-grade inspectors—but to scope out more-modest establishments. She travels thousands of miles a year, visits eight different eateries per day, and eats nine generous meals a week. The young inspector consumes dishes at breakneck speed. Over the course of her journey, she experiences a plethora of cultures through their people and cuisine.

Yet Emma struggles to settle into her new way of life, causing her to question herself and her purpose. Why should she force herself to keep up this demanding pace? What is she willing to sacrifice to achieve her dream job? What is she trying to prove to others and to herself?

A sensory awakening and a quest for meaning, this unusual journey will dazzle, intrigue, and inspire.


Emmanuelle Maisonneuve discovered the art of fine cuisine through the work of Michel Bras, Alain Ducasse,  and Alain Passard. Passionate about writing, she published several books before becoming a Michelin inspector.

Always on the hunt for unusual stories, Julia Pavlowitch is a journalist, and has co-written several portraits of women.

Born in Amakusa, Japan, Kan Takahama specializes in contemporary art.