Book Review: Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez

Chef’s Kiss

Author: Jarrett Melendez
Illustrations: Danica Brown
Publisher: Oni Press (April 12, 2022)
Paperback, 160 pages
Comics & Graphic Novels


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.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This comic is just TOO cute. This is a sweet new adult queer romance about Ben, who had just graduated with his (writing of some sort, idk) degree and is attempting to find paying work in his field. Somehow he winds up applying to be a cook at the absolute WEIRDEST restaurant you’ve ever experienced. I love the wacky hijinks in this comic. Ben is an absolute cinnamon roll, and I adore his friends (who are all various levels of quirky in their own ways) and his potential new co-workers (again, all super quirky in their own ways…) The sheer number of weird individuals in this story had me wishing I could teleport into it and hang out with them all (not to mention eat all that tasty food!)

I would have liked the romance plot to be just a LITTLE more fleshed out and robust, but it was still delicious. I feel like Ben’s love interest Liam was the least fleshed out of all the characters. I mean, we got more backstory and page time for the pet pig… If you’re going into this strictly wanting a romance, this will likely fall short for you. If you want a fun slice-of-life sort of post-college new adult struggles experience with lots of wackiness and suspension of disbelief, this one’s for you!

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