Foodie Reads // Chef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Illustrated by Danica Brine

Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel! 

Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right? 

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear. 

The nerdy, lover of books side of me loved Ben and his wall of bookshelves in his room. His love for food was also a point for him. However, I found his natural talent for cooking a little... unrealistic. At certain times he gave pointers to the seasoned chefs and did a twist on what they had on the menu. I find that goes counterintuitive to the no experience necessary sign that the restaurant had in front of their shop which prompted Ben to go for the job. It seemed like a lie because he was clearly talented.

I thought that making the restaurant vegan was a nice change of pace especially since I got to read about and look at some new exciting recipes. I thought the pig, Watson, who was quality control was a super cute addition but I wish he was featured a little more and we saw more of a relationship between him and the head chef.

I thought the chefs were all alright. It would have been nice to get to know them more. The chef who becomes the love interest, Liam, is cute so I get it but that's about it. He would offer advice to Ben but I didn't see a spark. Their relationship wasn't very developed and it could have been epic.

Ben's college friends were just there. I didn't like the pot-smoking dude. I found the girls worth reading except I would have liked their backstories elaborated on more. I didn't really feel the necessity to create a conflict between him and his best friend if it was going to last point two seconds.

Ben had to keep working at the restaurant a secret. When his parents find out they are trying to force him to change and I again found it very unrealistic. I mean he wants to be a writer. I would get it if they wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer but a writer? So what if he changed his mind? He's in his early 20's. It's going to happen. It was silly.

As you can tell this graphic novel lacked depth. I know it's supposed to be a cute romantic story but there was no spark anyways so there goes that... I did enjoy the art style, the food, and most of the characters. I felt though that this could have been longer and more feeling could have been brought into the storyline.


  1. I have never read a graphic novel. I might check this out just for that reason.


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