Sigh. Chef's Kiss is pretty to look at (art below) but it's really shallowly developed. The opening scenes consist of Ben moving in with three roommates shortly after graduating from college. He applies to and interviews for lots of writing and editing jobs before stumbling upon a job opening at a nearby vegetarian restaurant. Thus begins a drawn out plot in which Ben has to cook three existing dishes and develop one new one for the restaurant and get approval of the chef's pig, Watson.
I was excited for Chef's Kiss because I love romance comics and have a restaurant background and hey, there's a pig! But the reality is that the story is boring and the romance is nearly non-existent. The creators clearly loved writing and illustrating the cooking scenes, but that's not what I thought I was signing up for and it took me two weeks to read a 160 page graphic novel. Not ideal. As for the romance, it's between Ben and the sous-chef, Liam. One of my issues with Chef's Kiss is that the power imbalance is never addressed. Liam is a few years older than Ben and he's Ben's direct supervisor. I guess they're not together until Ben passes his tests and is officially hired, but to not mention it at all in the entire book felt wrong. I spent years working for crappy bosses who hooked up with all the staff to think this is a non-issue. Most of those people (everyone I'm thinking of is a woman but I'm sure it's not limited by gender) were in low-paying, part-time jobs with no security or benefits. After the relationship/hookups ended, they often felt they couldn't stay employed at that restaurant and left. Surprising no one, the sous-chefs, pastry chefs and exec. chefs never left for the same reason...
Then again, the romance isn't the focus of this comic. If post-college coming of age plots and cooking are your jam, you might like this a lot!
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I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review.