It’s time to finally put ‘Gourmet Hound‘ by Leehama, one of my all-time favourite Webtoon series on the spotlight. We’ve previously included it in our Pride and Holiday Heart-warming collections, but it’s high time it got a proper solo feature. It’s a drama series, with a touch of romance and a splash of magical realism. It’s far more profound and heartfelt than the summary possibly lets on, and a true feast for the soul. Grab a snack, and join me.
The story follows Lucy, an kind-hearted, optimistic, tiny yet freakishly strong young woman with an uncanny sense of smell and taste. Having recently lost her grandmother, and sold her old cooking school, dinners at Dimanche, her favourite restaurant, are a thread connecting her to her most precious memories, and something she can always look forward to. But when it undergoes a complete change in staff, she can feel that signature taste that she loved so much is missing. It’s still great, but it’s just not the same.
When her nose accidentally leads her to Graham, one of the former chefs at Dimanche, she decides to embark on a mission to track down all the other chefs from that team, in search for that supreme taste that was so dear to her.
There’s many reasons why ‘Gourmet Hound’ is a truly brilliant series. Let’s start simple; The art is gorgeous. Clean, colourful, consistent. The character designs actually progress through time (eg. hair getting longer, gradually), and you won’t find a single case of ‘same-face-different-hair’ among this cast.
Which brings me to my next point; this is one of the most diverse casts we’ve seen in a Webtoon series, and positive, good representation at that. Not just ethnically or LGBTQI+, but all around. And the key, is that none of these characters is tokenized, a check in a list’, or just a one-dimensional concept entirely defined by their sexual orientation. The characters are all integral to the story, and they’re not there to shove a lesson down your throat. It’s refreshing. The diversity is not presented as a political stance or commentary, but just as what it is, a perfectly normal group of people, living their lives, being good, being flawed, being a lot of things at the same time, just… being human.
And finally, the plot! When I started reading this I was so sceptical of the concept. What is Lucy so fixated on this taste on, anyway? But I promise you, it just creeps up on you, and touches all the feels. It’s a beautifully written journey, but make sure to have snacks around when reading. What with all the food, and the characters’ names also literally being food, well. It’s necessary. Thankfully still outside the clutches of Daily Pass, you can binge the whole thing in one go. Enjoy!