Chef’s Kiss

Jarrett Melendez and Danica Brine. Oni, $14.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-62010-904-5
Bon Appétit contributor Melendez blends his culinary skill and knack for fiction into a perfect mix of romance and self-discovery in this charming graphic novel. Ben Cook has just graduated college with the dream of landing a publishing job but has absolutely no professional prospects, a secret he’s keeping from his helicopter parents. In desperation after more than a dozen unsuccessful interviews, he lands a job at vegetarian eatery Cochon Doré and dives headfirst into something school could never have prepared him for: his own miniature MasterChef gauntlet to win a full-time gig. The biggest hurdle? Ben’s budding crush on cutie sous chef, Liam. The final arbiter of Ben’s fate? Watson, a quiet and enigmatic food critic. Artist Brine is a perfect collaborator for this lightly fantastical tale; her characters are expressive, with Ben’s emotions palpable on the page, and playful touches including Ben imagining other characters as fairies or goblins. Hank Jones’s coloring and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering give Brine’s linework room while adding vibrant, fun pops to spotlight the script’s sillier elements. Throughout, the characters are well-done, with Watson a highlight, and the romance is heightened by the emotional fulfillment of Ben’s difficult journey into adulthood. This enticing tale is sweet and satisfying. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 11/24/2021
Release date: 03/01/2022
Genre: Comics
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