tam’s guest post: cooking up a storm

As I promised, in an effort to be less of a bitchy cow, I thought I’d bring up one of my favourite themes in m/m romance, the romance that involves food in some way. This can be restaurant owners, chefs or even just couples who include food as a large part of the story. Even if the cover is atrocious, the author completely unknown and the plot ridiculous, if it involves food in some way I’ll pause and give it a good think before moving on.

I will share with you some of my favourite food related stories from my “library” and hope that you will share with me some of yours so that I can broaden my horizons when it comes to food and romance.

So, in no particular order, some of my recommended foodie reads are:

Food and Books by Drew Zachary – a chef and a cop meet in a bookstore in Saskatoon, Canada. (OMG! Books AND food, I’m in heaven.) Torquere no longer carries this but you can get it at allromanceebooks.

Shape of a Heart by Kimberly Gardner – a book store owner whose partner died and the younger man who he hires to run the coffee bar in the book store. (Double squee, more food and books.)

Cooking with Ergot by Luisa Prieto – a TV chef who’s a witch, his familiar who’s a stuffed tiger and an author who may or may not be trying to murder the chef. Hilariously funny at times.

Love’s Evolution by Ally Blue – a chef and a tattoo artist and their relationship over a long period of time. There was also a free Christmas short that involved chocolate and a paintbrush which was very enticing.

Dark Chocolate by Rhianne Aile and Madeline Urban – a restaurant owner and a famous actor and an interesting dessert after hours at the restaurant. A sweet story. Get it? Sweet? Dessert? Sigh.

To the Highest Bidder by Kate Steels – a book store owner and …. no, not a chef but a famous TV actor. While food isn’t the main career of either character they meet over a meal, the actor cooks for the book store owner and there is the use of sesame oil for nefarious purposes.

Hot Weather by Matthew Haldeman-Time – a college student working in a diner for the summer and a recent grad in the corporate world spend a week getting to know each other over lunch. Again food is not the main focus (but he does eat everyday) and I just like this story a lot so I included it.

The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeline Urban – a food critic and a newspaper reporter who are best friend become more. Again, food not the main focus although there is a fair bit of cooking and going to restaurants and since one character loves cheesecake as much as I do, it was a sure thing for my list.

So there are some of my recommendations if you’d like to explore some good reads with a food theme, because really, don’t all of us dream of waking up to that sweetie at the top making us pancakes? 🙂

Next time I’ll tell you what one of my other favourite themes is, but for now I’ll keep that a secret.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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14 Responses to tam’s guest post: cooking up a storm

  1. Lily says:

    Great topic Tam!!

    I also loved Food and Books and Love's Evolution. I like the others although I haven't reading Cooking with Ergot yet.

    Here's my list of a few other books that are in some way food related.

    Aaron Michaels “Wiseguys” books are about a couple of ex-Mafia guys in a small town who own a deli. Not too focused on the deli itself but the stories are great.

    BA Tortuga's “Cooking Up Trouble” is the story of a chef and a cop. Very short (14 pages) and very hot.

    Maura Anderson's “Giving Thanks” is about a chef and his lover during the Thanksgiving holidays.

    Sean Michael's “Jarheads” series. In between the tons of sex the guys are having there is a lot of focus on food, especially on how Rock loves Rig's cooking and his Mama's cookies 🙂

    Sean Michael's “Bite” is about a personal chef and his boss, a werewolf. Again lots of sex, a SM trademark. I'm just starting the second book Bitten.

    In ZA Maxfield's “St. Nacho's” the main protag works in a bar/restaurant.

    I'm sure there are more out there, especially if we count all the books where kitchen stuff, like olive oil and butter, are used for “prep”


  2. Tam says:

    I have some of those and forgot Lily. I did remember Cooking Up Trouble after the fact. I quite enjoyed that little short. I also have Bite and St. Nachos.

    I've yet to delve into Jarheads, guess that's on my list of things to explore since I generally like Sean Michael's work. I highly recommend Cooking with Ergot, its very funny.

    I've only read one short by Aaron Michaels (very short) and it didn't really work for me, but maybe he needs a longer format.

    Thanks for the recs.

  3. Luisa is darling, and I really liked Ergot. Have to subscribed to Soapcarvings, Sean Michael's newsletter? He always includes fun recipes. Ohohoh and his Center of Earth and Sky has some fun scenes with tapas and stuff.

  4. Kris says:

    I also thought “Food & Books” and “Cooking with Ergot” were terrific.

    There's a sweet little short by Stormy Glenn called “Sweet Treats” about a doctor and a baker. *Baker. Sweet. Get it, Tam. ;)*

    I'm sure I've read others, but I drawing a blank. Umm, Vampire stories count, right?? They're all basically about food.

  5. orannia says:

    Very interesting topic Tam! I'm sorry, but I haven't got anything to add. I'm still exploring the m/m genre.

    Sean Michael's “Bite” is about a personal chef and his boss, a werewolf. Again lots of sex, a SM trademark. I'm just starting the second book Bitten.

    *heads pops up* SM? *makes careful note of title*

    LOL Kris. Vampire stories are all about food 🙂

  6. jitterbug says:

    Ohhh, I love food related stories! Thanks for bringing up this topic, Tam :).

    You have already mentioned some of my favourite titles – Cooking with Ergot, Food and Books and The One That Got Away – and I don't have much to add to your list, but…

    there's one sweet, sweet short (Christmas) story by Madeleine Urban, Fruit And Cheese. I've re-read it many times, and every time I wish it were longer… Give it a try, it's great!

    I also have in my TBR pile Peanut Butter Kisses by Pepper Espinoza – IIRC the book is about two pastry chefs, yum!

    Oh, and there's Devon Cream by Jet Mykles, in which one of the main characters is a chef.

    Lily has it right, how many times oil and butter – or margarine… – are used even in non-food-related books? I'm re-reading the Psy Cop series and I must say that Vic and Jacob are a perfect example… *g*
    I seem to remember that in Laura Baumbach's Roughhousing books there is a scene in which the alpha character used pesto (sauce)… !! I remember I was a little embarassed the first time I ate it after having read the book *g*.

    And Kris, you made me – almost – spit my coffee… vampire stories should definitely count! *g*

  7. Jenre says:

    ooh, I love food books too.

    I've read most of the ones Tam has mentioned, except Cooking for Ergot, which I must get hold of as it's had lots of great reviews.

  8. Tam says:

    Emmy: I'll have to look for Centre of Earth and Sky.

    Kris: I'll have to hunt down Sweet Treats. You're so funny.

    And for you I'll let vampire stories count.

  9. Tam says:

    Thanks for the recs Jitterbug. I'll have to search those out. I do have issues with peanut butter (childhood trauma) so to be honest that turned me off about that story but perhaps I can deal. LOL

    I think it was garlic dip, not pesto sauce but either way, 0_0

  10. Tam says:

    Jen: Definitely get it, its so worth the read.

  11. Lily says:

    How could I have forgotten SM's Center of Earth and Sky and Laura's Roughhousing??

    Both are excellent books!!!

    Just checked my TBR and I've got Peanut Butter Kisses and Devon Cream to read. I'll have to move them up the line 🙂

  12. Ozakie says:


    Great post…its so funny bc ironically I think I stumbled upon a really good idea for a M/M novel regarding food..I have to remember this post and your recommendations for inspiration.

  13. Kris says:

    Considering the various applications of olive oil, butter, garlic dip, etc made me think about a follow up topic to this one, Tam, albeit a little raunchy. Hehehe.

    Oh and re: vampires… I'm making a list.

  14. Tracy says:

    Great topic and loving hearing about all of the books that have food in them.

    Bite by SM was great. Loved the food talk.

    And that one Jitterbug mentioned: Fruit and Cheese sounds good too.

    One I love but is not m/m but m/f is Delicious by Sherry Thomas. Anyone who reads het romance and will read a historical (not Kris) would love this one. Great food.

    Ok – now I'm hungry. 🙂

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