Cover Image: Chef's Kiss

Chef's Kiss

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Member Reviews

This was such a cute, fun read! I loved the art style and the main characters. Ben's friends seemed almost a little too conventionally quirky?? In the sense that it felt like the author went "Ah yes, every queer friend group has one of these friends" and then proceeded to put all of them in Ben's friend group. So while honestly accurate, it also just felt like a bit much to have a character that speaks using Shakespearan language. I enjoyed the overall plot a lot but wished to see more of Ben and Liam and their relationship development.
In the end, it was a really cute and quick read. I definitely recommend it for people looking for a sweet, queer graphic novel.
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Absolutely adorable!

For Libraries: Nothing in this is necessarily too much for YA collections, but the age of the characters does place this in a New Adult category.
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Ben Cook is a recent college graduate who longs for a job connected to his English major. He goes on over a dozen interviews, but lacks the experience needed to land a job that will allow him to gain experience. Luckily, a local restaurant is hiring, with NO experience required (plus a very dreamy sous chef, Liam). Now Ben must excel at Chef Davis’s series of challenges, mastering recipes both classic and original. He also has to please Watson, Le Cochon Doré's official taste-tester; Watson is a pig, an adorably affectionate one. “Cook the cook” really takes to the restaurant gig, especially the camaraderie that’s forged in the kitchen, but his roommate and longtime bestie, Liz, feels that Ben has given up on writing too easily. This upbeat graphic novel (with abundant character diversity) joyfully depicts the life-changing moments that happen when your life’s prescribed path opens up to a world of possibilities. With incredible culinary sequences, a slow burn romance, and a dash of early-twenties angst, it's just, yes, chef’s kiss.
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Unfortunately, this book started so slowly that I DNF'd it twice. 
I tried reading this one several months apart from each other and I just couldn't get past the 20% mark either time.
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Chef's Kiss was a very cute read! The art style was beautiful and the story was wholesome and sweet. I related to Ben and his "what shall I do with my life" struggle on a spiritual level; I felt it in my soul. Anxiety about career paths, missing out, making life decisions and endless job applications are, unfortunately, all too familiar and I'm sure lots of other readers will feel the same. That said, Ben's living situation with his old college friends looks pretty great and, of course, Ben immediately gets an absolutely dreamy love interest in Liam. This is a romance, so obviously Ben and Liam's friendship and Ben's crush on Liam gets a lot of attention, though I liked that Melendez makes time for Ben's friends too. Friendship is important! I also liked the other supporting characters at the restaurant, especially Ben's grumpy but supportive boss. It may not be an especially original character type, but he was hilarious. As I've already mentioned, the art was gorgeous and packed with food porn so keep a snack handy! I bet the recipes will inspire many readers and I'm hoping the final published edition has little recipe cards, or something, as bonus content! Also, I applaud the punny title. It's kind of an 'Eats Shoots and Leaves' situation and I love it.

Unfortunately, for me personally, the romance itself felt a little underdeveloped. I still enjoyed it, but the HEA at the end seemed a bit rushed. This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but Ben's final career dilemma also annoyed me. I understand it was necessary to the narrative, but I would love to be offered that kind of opportunity, is all I'm saying. The ending also felt a little unresolved, especially in terms of Ben's relationship with his parents, but I'm guessing (hoping!) this is the first installment of a longer story, so hopefully another volume will wrap that up. My only other minor gripe was with Nelson, the resident taste-testing pig. He was cute as a drawing (all the art is adorable!) but the concept of Nelson felt like a gimmick. I feel curmudgeonly saying it, though, so I'm sure most readers will find him charming. Overall, I would definitely recommend Chef's Kiss for anyone looking for a lighthearted romance read. :)
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Sweet, queer, and much weirder than I was expecting in a great way. This was a lovely read. Really enjoyed the friendships and watching Ben figure out what he truly wanted in life and not letting his parents dictate that for him. The relationship was sweet as well. Also can’t help but enjoy scenes with Watson. I definitely was not expecting a pig doing such ridiculous things but I loved it.
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This feels familiar and totally fresh all at once, a stellar rom-com which balances heartwarming love with delicious food.
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Chef’s Kiss is a new adult graphic novel following Ben and his roommates right after graduating college. After several years of working hard for his English degree, Ben is expected to find a job in the field of his dreams and become a writer, as he always thought he wanted. But when interview after interview goes terribly wrong due to his lack of professional experience, Ben is desperate for money and ends up taking a job as a chef in a rather eccentric restaurant, no experience required. It doesn’t hurt that his coworker is cute, too. But as time goes on Ben starts to realize how much he enjoys his job, and that maybe he doesn’t want to be a writer after all. Between the ridiculous challenges of the restaurant, difficulties with his friendships, and all the other troubles of being a young adult, Ben must decide between the life he is expected to have, and the one that he wants to create for himself.

This was a very sweet, hilarious graphic novel. The art was incredibly beautiful, I couldn’t stop myself from staring at the pages just taking in the illustrations. My favourite thing about this though were the characters; Ben, his coworkers, and all his roommates were such a delight to read. I wasn’t expecting the level of humour and absurdity that is present throughout the entire novel (the Shakespeare roommate and the cigarette smoking pig are my favourite examples), but it was a welcome surprise! The absurdity did teeter on being a bit much at times, and I think this book would have benefitted from having just a little bit less of it in order to make room for getting to know the characters better. There were also some panels, or entire sections in some cases, that I didn’t feel were necessary to the story, such as Watson’s fake backstory, and a very drawn out yoga class. But otherwise this was a very fun book and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!
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I really enjoyed this one! 
It took me a minute to get into it because of the compact style.
Vibrant colorful illustrations!
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This was so cute!! It took me some time to get into but by the end I really loved it!! 

The story telling is pretty unique and I loved the art style of this one! Overall a wholesome comfort read! 

Thank you to NetGalley and publishers for this free eArc, this is my honest review.
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Cute but a bit too saccharine for my traste. It reads like a fanfiction made graphic novel and while a lot of people will like it I think younger readers might enjoy it more.
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3 stars

Such a cute story! At first, I thought it was going to be more focused on the romance, but actually that's a pretty secondary storyline. It's a comic about identity, about finding out what you love, what you're passionate about, and if that actually is what you want to do with your career.

Food is also a big part of the story, and I really enjoyed seeing Ben learning and creating new dishes. I also liked the friend group, especially Ben's relationship with Liz, the conflict that they have and how is it resolved.

What I definitely found weird is the whole thing with the pig. It's just ridiculous. And the confrontation with Ben's parents was overdramatic in an unnecessary way.

But overall, I enjoyed the reading experience and would recommend it if you want something short, fun and lighthearted.
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Chefs Kiss follows, Ben Cook, a recent college graduate who is looking for a job, but runs into many (far too real) difficulties when every job he interviews for requires professional experience. With no job, Ben is desperate to start making money when he runs across a help wanted wanted sign outside of a restaurant. He grabs at the opportunity and is thrown into the world of cooking with a very cute chef named Liam. 

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! To begin, the art was amazing and went well with the story (if that makes sense?). The characters were all great, the only issue was that there were so many characters it was hard for much growth to happen and I felt a bit of a disconnect from each character due to that. Ben having to gain his place at the restaurant by getting judged by a pig is funny and quirky for this story. They also definitely did try to fit a lot within this pretty short story and that also made the book feel a bit rushed. I wish it was longer so we could see more of Ben working through his challenges each week. But, overall this was a very fun read!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the author for this ARC. 

I actually finished it in March and published the review on GoodReads

One of the CUTEST graphic novels i’ve read in a very long time. Fast paced, real, humorous. Everything in my personal opinion was perfect. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read this before it’s release day. I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy and reread and cherish it!
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Ben Cook, freshly graduated from college, is moving into a new apartment with three friends. Now all he needs is a job, the approval of his parents, and maybe — if he’s lucky — a boyfriend. However, finding a job isn’t as easy as he thought it would be, not when everyone wants to hire someone who knows what they’re doing, not some wet-behind-the-ears kid with no experience. It’s happenstance that Ben sees the sign in the window: Now Hiring – No Experience Necessary.

Ben’s never thought about cooking as a job. When he cooks, he does so for fun, and for food. But a job’s a job. It doesn’t help that the Liam, the chef who greeted him when he came in, is blonde, blue eyed, and absolutely gorgeous. And willing to give Ben a chance. Unfortunately, Liam’s not the boss. That would be Chef Davis, who takes an instant dislike to Ben, who never bothers to get his name right, and who won’t even taste his food.

No, Ben’s food is only good enough for the pig.

Ben isn’t lazy or entitled or unrealistic in his dreams. He’s willing to work, and work hard. He was willing to look for jobs in any field, because a job is a job, whether it’s retail, sanitation, or cooking. He just happens to be a natural cook. All of the recipes he’s shown, he improves upon. His skills in cooking are brilliant, so much so that the restaurant taste tester — Watson, who just so happens to be Chef Davis’ pet pig — adores everything Ben cooks. In no time at all, Ben has gone from being cautious to captivated with the idea of being a chef.

Liam, one of the three other chefs at the restaurant, takes Ben under his wing. The two of them fall into an easy friendship, and Liam isn’t unaware of Ben’s charms. After a drunken night of bonding with his fellow chefs has Ben spilling his guts twice (the first time bemoaning it wasn’t just he and Liam, and the second time ruining Liam’s shoes), Liam realizes that Ben feels something for him. And Liam slowly, gently, makes a few discrete moves of his own. After all, there’s no point rushing things when they have all the time in the world to get to know one another.

Chef’s Kiss is a charming graphic novel with bright colors, good character design, and good flow and pacing. Ben’s inner thoughts about Liam’s smile, his hotness, his shoulders are done with curly, pink-toned bubbles to separate them from the normal white, crisp lines of conversation. Drunk Ben’s speech bubbles have green foozles and wavy, wandering lines to indicate wavy, wandering thoughts, both of which are really cleverly done.

I have a few issues with this graphic novel, however. The first is Ben’s parents, who are such caricatures in their “disappointed parent” act that they’d be too broadly painted even for a sitcom. And then there’s Ben, himself, who goes from being a talented home cook to out performing three trained chefs in less than three weeks. In fact, he’s so beyond amazing it’s unbelievable. The author even makes a point of having Ben modestly comment how he didn’t go to culinary school, all while he’s cooking these chef’s dishes — and then improving upon them so much so that their food tasting pig either ascends to paradise, breaks into the kitchen for more, or ends up satiated with a cigarette in his hooves with a smile on his face. These are standard story beats, and there’s nothing wrong with them on their own, but owing to the medium and the limited pages of a graphic novel, there’s no nuance or depth to these relationships or situations, making them feel unsatisfying.

If you’re looking for a graphic novel, I do recommend Chef’s Kiss. This a light, sweet, and somewhat shallow — while being very pretty — story with two-dimensional characters. Enjoy it for what it is, and try not to get too hungry.
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I was approved for a free NetGalley e-ARC. Unfortunately, the approval was made on the same day that the ARC was archived and I never had a chance to download it. After publication, my public library did acquire it and I am now able to provide a review.

This is a new adult graphic novel about Ben Cook who is trying to balance becoming independent, looking for a job, falling in love and maintaining old and new friendships. The art work was pleasant, if a bit busy. I did like the humor. Also, a great deal of focus was placed on the cooking process at the expense of more development of the MC's personal journey, the side characters and the romantic relationship.

Overall, it was cute and funny but felt like a missed opportunity for a more interesting story.
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I'm usually not a fan of graphic novels, but this one... This one was amazing, I actually loved it!

I liked how we can see amazing friendship and how they support each other. The struggles Ben goes through, just to figure out what he wants to do and to make a choice for himself and not pick the other option because parents want to or make him do it. And love, that plays a big part too. :)

So if and when there is a sequel to this book, I'm definitely reading it! Can't wait.
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This graphic novel packs a lot into its 125 pages. It’s easy to like the protagonist Ben, who stumbles into a chef-in-training job at a vegetarian restaurant. He’s hard working and earnest, and puts a lot of heart into each of the cooking challenges, even though he intended to find a publishing job after graduating with an English degree.  

Ben is supported by a strong cast of secondary characters, who serve as excellent foils, but I found the restaurant owner/head chef to be overly abrasive. I understand that this is 100% accurate when it comes to head chefs, but having him scream at Ben over nothing added a level of stress into an otherwise lowkey and low-angst narrative. 

BUT, Chef did have an adorable pig with a refined palate named Watson, so I suppose he can be forgiven for being grumpy. AND, Ben has the support of dreamy second-in-command Liam, who offers advice and guidance every step of the way. 

I would recommend Chef’s Kiss. It’s classified as New Adult, but I found it to be appropriate for the YA crowd as well. There’s minimal profanity and no explicit content. There are plenty of lessons about being true to yourself, and respecting friends. There is plenty of cooking, as would be expected from a book that takes place in a restaurant, and the meals prepared made me so hungry. I wanted to eat every single thing Ben made!
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<strong>This New Adult Graphic Novel was the most relatable thing ever </strong> 💗 It's about 22-year old <u>Ben Cook who just graduated from college and is moving in with his three best friends, determined to start Adult Life</u>. I loved reading about a protagonist close to my age who is <strong>struggling with his own independence and future</strong>. Just like Ben, I'm not so sure what I want to be and I liked that we saw an uncertain main character trying to figure out what he wants from life. <strong>Job hunting isn't going well for Ben, who is frustrated that he is written off as soon as he discloses that he doesn't have practical experience</strong>. This is all still ahead for me, but I felt his annoyance and growing despair, as he did 'everything right' with his studies and has no idea how he is supposed to gain experience when everyone expects he should already have it. I also <strong>loved seeing his friendships and roommates who each have their different experience with Adult life</strong>: two already have a job and are getting another degree. The book was much focused on <u>Ben's journey adjusting to working and dealing with overbearing, controlling parents</u> who have a specific life planned for him.

<strong>I also loved seeing Ben discover his passion for cooking and falling for Liam </strong> 🥰 When he fails to find a job and is about to give up, Ben discovers a restaurant that hires people without requiring experience. He <strong>takes his chance and is put on a trial period, as his strict and choleric new boss doesn't 100% trust him yet</strong>. The head chef and restaurant owner is a pretty horrible boss at first - something that's sadly common in kitchens - requiring Ben to succeed in a challenge each week in order to keep his job. However, <u>Ben has a natural talent for cooking and is determined to stay on</u>, improving himself constantly. It also helps that one of his n<strong>ew coworkers is charming cook Liam who immediately tries to include and help him</strong>. Ben develops a big crush on him and I loved seeing the pining between them, though it wasn't the focus of this story!

<strong>IN CONCLUSION.</strong> ➽ <i>Chef's Kiss </i>was a<strong> fantastic, charming New Adult graphic novel that deals with growing up, finding your place and discovering your true passion</strong>. I loved the blend of pining & romance, friendships, and cooking (so much delicious food!) The story addressed difficult topics but was still so heartwarming and lovely 😊
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1st Line: " 'Four years of college move-in days, you'd think I'd seen everything.' "

Review: Newly-graduated from college with his English degree, Ben Cook has moved into a house with three friends/roommates, and is officially ready to begin his journalism career. Only problem is, without experience no one will hire him. Even with his friends trying their best to keep his spirits up, a downtrodden Ben is at his lowest when he stumbles one day upon a small upscale restaurant with a "Help Wanted - No Experience Necessary" sign on the door. Between his love of cooking and need to keep the rent paid, Ben hurries in to apply ... running into Liam, a tall, Nordic-looking hunk with a warm smile and friendly manner who is more than happy to give Ben a chance at the job, though it's the bigger, louder, not-so-friendly owner who informs Ben of the three challenges he must face to secure the position - before introducing Ben to the pig who will judge his fate (yes, you read that right).

Can Ben pass the tests? Can Ben keep his heart from leaping out of his chest every time he gets within ten feet of Liam? And how does one cook for a finicky pig? Chef's Kiss answers all of this and more in a charming, off-beat, frothy and funny m/m romance that also has some great things to say about following your dreams - and your dreams, as opposed to those of others. The artwork is equally sweet, characters believable and very easy to like, and (thankfully) the romance isn't in any rush to bloom, but grows naturally from the story; it's nice that Ben doesn't spend all his time mooning over Liam, remembering real-world problems and being there for his own friends along the way ... as well as doing his best to win the resaurant job, if not Liam's heart.

No big plot twists - no shocking revelations or super-corny tropes - and this graphic novel is better for it. Like Ben's cooking: all-natural, delicious, and so easy on the palate. Great book; already hoping for a sequel! (Available April 12)  4/5 stars

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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