Rutabaga the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal began life as an online and is now available in book form and in full color! I absolutely love the character of Rutabaga and the world that Colossal has created for him to wander in. When we first meet him, he is trekking through the wilds with a huge pack on his back (it turns out to be a pop-up kitchen) and a walking cauldron named Pot at his side.
On a quest to find rare ingredients and cook amazing things that no one has ever eaten before, Rutabaga has just discovered the legendary "Bell Topped Mushroom." Unbeknownst to him, this mushroom is growing on the hilt of a legendary sword-in-a-stone that will allow the retriever to vanquish a dragon.
Rutabaga meets a ragtag group of warriors - Winn, Manny and Beef - who are after the sword and hoping to rid their kingdom of the dragon. When Rutabaga makes a "Perfect Pep Potion," (recipes are included in the story, including two at the end of the book that do not include magical items like a "white tipped honey spice root") that revives Manny, the gang decides that taking Rutabaga along with them might not be a bad idea.
Fighting the dragon - with the amazing "Pop-Shrooms" that Rutabaga discovers inside the dragon's lair, is just the start of his adventures. There is the cooking contest at the Rusty Goat, discovering what Norman, a gift from to the King from the delegates from Yiz, eats (turns out to be something very cool...) and a journey to the Grey Falls Mountains with Oleg, Thyr and Gyda to avenge the death of their mother, the warrior queen of Fnard. Despite is size (5 feet tall) and cheerful outlook, Rutabaga proves to be an asset wherever he goes, and I can't wait to see where he goes next!
Source: Review Copy