77 Answers

  • Every Elin Hilderbrand book I’ve read revolves around restaurants somehow. At least one of the main characters will be a chef.

  • The Last Chinese Chef is pretty good. Secrets of the Tsil Cafe is also fine.

  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest was about the journey of a girl who becomes a chef. I really enjoyed it.

  • Delish completely revolves around food and cooking food creators.

  • Delicious by Ruth Reichl. The protagonist had been a baker, and then goes to work for a food magazine. (A surrogate for the late, lamented Gourmet magazine, of which Reichl was editor-in-chief.)

  • Odd Thomas is a fry cook chef although it doesn’t feature that prominently in the series.

  • It can’t always be caviar by Johannes Maria Simmel. Basically more upscale James Bond who loves to cook…

    • Oh, I never thought to look and see if it was a book buy I loved that series on television!

  • Julie Hyzy has a cozy mystery series about a chef for the POTUS who solves mysteries on the side.

  • I remember enjoying Poppy Z. Brite’s Rickey and G-Man series.

  • “Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs Of Europe” by Nan and Ivan Lyons. I believe it’s out of print but you can easily find it online on used books sites. I lost my original copy several years ago and was able to find another one recently. The book is very funny. It’s a mystery but hilarious.

  • Fowl to the Bone is a fun murder mystery by a fabulous French chef

  • Diane Mott Davidson’s series. Her main character Goldie is a caterer who stumbles on lots of dead people 🙂

  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Amiee Bender, is great. Not exactly about a chef, but definitely about food.

  • Agnes and the Hitman, she cooks the whole way through. The description of the waffles will make you drive to ihop, I kid u not.

  • Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell. The “Julia” is Julia child. Great story.

  • Kerry Greenwood wrote a few books lighthearted and funny about a cook in a bakery.

  • Also Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen Mysteries…recipes in every novel!

    • Cool. The Hilderbrand novels have recipes too. A couple I actually want to try. 🙂

    • The 100 foot journey so good and they made movie of it think Helen Mirren was in it

  • The Chef’s Apprentice by Elle Newmark. A chef in a great house in Venice during the Italian Renaissance takes in a young apprentice. Turns out the chef is a guardian of knowledge, possessing a book of mankind’s knowledge that the Church wants to destroy. Really a great book.

  • The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman is very funny, and quirky. The protagonist trains to be a chef (in response to earlier events in the story), and the book is full of interesting and sometimes hilarious food scenarios.

    • , that’s the only one I’ve read so far, but I do want to read some more. Do you have any other favorites from her?

    • I love the Tess Monaghan series, which starts with Baltimore Blues. I liked Wilde Lake. Lately she has been moving toward standard fiction, with mixed results. One had cruelty to animals. I burned it. Sometimes authors are not the best judges of their own work. 🤨

  • Go to Goodreads and use ‘chefs’ as search term. There are lots of ideas.

  • I like the novels of Stacy Ballis – lots of chefs/cooks; also Barbara Samuels/Barbara O’Neal & The School of Essential Ingredients

  • Babette’s Feast, a short story by Karen Blixen (in the collection entitled Anecdotes of Destiny) It was adapted into a film a few decades ago.

  • Amy Myers wrote an amusing series of detective novels set in late Victorian/Edwardian England, featuring a French chef called Auguste Didier who keeps unwittingly getting involved in murders, although he only wants to be left in peace to cook. There is quite a lot about cooking as well as murder in the books. The first one is called Murder in Pug’s Parlour. They are available on kindle, or if you prefer real books there are lots of second hand copies available on amazon.

    • Oh I love that book! One of my favourite quotes about love ever (about the matches).

  • I just saw this on another list! “Yes, Chef” by Marcus Samuelsson

    • Another one just popped up on the list too: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (or at least there’s a link to chef/restaurant within it).

  • Diane Mott Davidson wrote a whole murder/mystery series with the chef/caterer named Goldie. The first is “Catering to Nobody.” Light reads but fun and she includes recipes of items in the stories.

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