God of Cooking


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30-year-old Jo Minjoon has always wanted to become a chef. He started his culinary career late in life, however, and is currently chopping onions at a restaurant. Regretting his life choices, he wishes he could go back to change it all and falls asleep. Meanwhile, someone out there is willing to give him another chance and send him back in time. How will he use the new powers he obtained from this mysterious being?

Associated Names
One entry per line
요리의 신
Related Series
God of Music (13)
Top Management (8)
Gourmet Food Supplier (5)
Big Life (3)
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I’m in Hollywood (3)
Recommendation Lists
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68 Reviews sorted by

caolsei rated it
October 28, 2016
Status: c114
You're probably wondering why I am giving 1 to this novel. That is because this novel has an unforgivable flaw. Actually without this problem, I would also have given a 4 or 5.

I am very surprised that no one noticed this issue before because for me it was very obvious. Here it is:

What the hell happened to the food from the rest of the world!? A good example is Arabic food. Don't mind about no one cooking it, because that is still ok since no character comes from there, but... more>> not being mentioned, even once? A "cooking" novel? Food from a complete food culture, 400 millions people, more than the US? Are you kidding me?

So yes that's an unforgivable mistake. And of course that's not the only food culture which has gotten "forgotten". What about Nordic food? What about African food? And many many more.

Alright so what happened here? Well it's written in the novel itself, again and again, as if to show the deep ignorance of the author. For the author there are two types of food: Asian food and "Western" food. Western food, in the very funny concept of this joke of an author, is basically western European food + American food.

How can such a big mistake be done? Well easy, the author didn't do his homework correctly. We can even say that he didn't even open his eyes. In fact this is such a crazy mistake that it could never be done by anyone in the food industry. This only proves one point: the author doesn't know what he is talking about. His knowledge is probably 99% gotten from the Internet, and badly at that.

Conclusion: a novel about cooking? No, such a big mistake is not forgivable enough to let anyone say that this is a cooking novel. This is a great failure and the worse of all is that the author is not even aware of his lack of knowledge... In two words: sad, disapointing. <<less
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Riverlia rated it
June 5, 2018
Status: --
I'm surprised a 'how dare they not cover all the food style in the world especially my country food' tantrum is a top-voted review.

There's this thing call 'context' and 'realistic expectation'. This is a story about a Korean cook participate in an American contest. Demanding Arabian good of all thing being factored in is silly.

The styles of cooking did expand when the context became a tasting trip, but obviously a single TV programme can't cover everything in one episode.

God of Cooking is a rather interesting cooking/romance novel, and while it... more>> didn't cover all the food in the world it covered a lot of cooking styles and treated them all with respect. I really like how the main character did not settle for relying completely on his cheat and constantly seeked to improve his skill as a chef.

The romance was quite cute and funny with good pacing and heart warming. I enjoyed the antics and all the commentaries whenever someone pull a Public Display of Affection. <<less
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Awesome Sauce
Awesome Sauce rated it
June 21, 2016
Status: --
delicious |diˈliSHəs|
highly pleasant to the taste

This one word basically describes the entire novel. &Lt;— (That's your TLDR.)
Ok I'll admit, I rolled my eyes when the status window first appeared. But I quickly and willingly accepted that my initial assumptions that this novel would turn stereotypical (in the novel landscape I mean) were to be proven incorrect. Breaking it down, because our MC does this with the food he tastes.
... more>>

I appreciate how he isn't overpowered with his cheat, and it is what he eventually decides his cheat is: a tool. He has another advantage which is his knowledge from the future but it helps balance his lack of talent and progressing cooking skill. Also, he gradually realizes that because of his presence, the predetermined future he knows of is changing, and with that his attitude and cooking style also adapts to the current present.


One of my favourite aspects of the novel is that updates come fast, just a few days apart from each other. Many thanks to KobatoChanDaiSuki for their consistent speed and quality. Skillful translation, word choice, and grammar is just like cooking — you can have the same (raw) ingredients, but how you prepare and serve the chapter makes all the difference. Some might say that it has a slow start, but I see it more as the appetizer. I tasted the first few chapters and, before I knew it, we were at the competition phase and I began to devour the chapters. The characters are poly-dimensional (yeah that’s a word now), multiracial (I was impressed, ok), have the potential to improve, and have the super rare phenomenon of me not disliking any of them (shocking) !

Overall, this novel suits my taste. It’s refreshing but has depth, incorporates “traditional” novel gaming concepts but it isn’t predominating the entirety of the story, the plot recipe is original, the author writes with detail — so much that you are immersed in eating up her words and able to almost taste each dish, and the competition makes the reader feel like they're also sharing the atmosphere that is tense enough to cut with a knife.

So I repeat, this is one delicious story. (4.5/5) <<less
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Basara rated it
January 18, 2017
Status: c137
I love the romance it's so fluffy. I wait everyday hoping that it gets updated. I love novels like there where there is game elements in modern day. I saw that there was a review with 1* because there was not a lot of variety with food.... He was only at chapter 114. They were basically in a cooking competition until then. Ofc people are going to cook the things that they are good at. The MC is Korean so he makes Korean dishes. Others are American so they make... more>> American dishes. How are you going to expect Arabic dishes when an Arabic character hasn't even appeared. Another gave it a 2* because of grammar issues. Personally grammar issues are not a big deal to me unless it gets Almighty Athlete bad. If it throws off your game that much fine. But remember the author is Korean he would be too used to calling people with Adjussi or stuff like that. He probably doesn't even notice. <<less
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savvyblue rated it
May 3, 2018
Status: c185
Normally I would give this four stars, but I'm giving it five just because of the bull that caolsei wrote (and got 79 likes? Did any of you who liked it actually read this novel?) But lemme first review before I rant.

1. The characters are fleshed out. Everyone has a backstory, a goal, a skill, and interactions with all the other characters. The MC is hardworking and calm, and doesn't easily make mistakes due to anger or excitement. That doesn't mean he breezes through the competition though, as every other... more>> character has the potential to win. There are no shortcuts on character development.

2. The system is less of a cheat than I expected (though it's still very cheat). I like that it didn't have a personality so we can focus more on the MC's relationship with other characters. He tries not to rely on it too much, and hopes to get to the point where he doesn't need it. As the novel goes on he uses it less for making dishes and more for checking to make sure he's correct, which is nice.

3. The setting. A good portion of the novel takes place in a MasterChef-like competition. I won't say what comes after, but I will say it completely invalidates caolsei's complaint. Again, a lot of the inspiration for this first part seems to be from MasterChef (I actually started becoming invested in the show after I realized it was like GoC) and the variety of food shown is appropriate for the setting. I enjoyed the style of the challenges, and each character overcomes it in their own way. I also liked that the MC is not guaranteed to be the winner. He and his posse of friends all have things they need to work on if they want the prize. No one is safe.

So here's my rant. WT total F? Not every cuisine gets shown in a cooking novel. I should know, since that's one of my favorite genres. Show me the novel that features Nordic or African cooking as a plot point, while also keeping the style of the novel consistent. In fact, just find me the novel that has that type of cooking without the MC having tripped into another world. I think you've been watching/hearing about Food Wars a bit too much. Also, you made a point about Eastern vs Western food. Believe it or not, in many Asian countries, that's how food is categorized. African, European, and Mexican food would all be classified as "Western." Many Asians who've lived outside their country don't see it that way, but as I don't know the author's travel experiences I won't hold it against him. And of course when they mention Western food the emphasis is on American and European food. It's invaded so many countries that's it's easy to relate to, and most people think of these regions when thinking of "Western" food even though Central and South America are the same degree of "west." Yes, it's a cooking novel, but the focus is on the characters. If you want to learn how to cook foreign food, don't look in a novel. Read a cookbook, watch YouTube, or find a friend, hard as it may be for you. <<less
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Miss Ruby
Miss Ruby rated it
October 10, 2016
Status: c104
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. But this novel took me for a ride. It is an amazing read. One of those few moments in life where you find a gem but you first thought it was simple mud
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Jaded rated it
November 13, 2016
Status: c124
As the name suggests, this novel is about cooking. Have you ever watched a cooking show? This novel is about that show. But with a lot more drama and romance. And the MC isn't an ordinary chef. He's a guy who had once bent under the pressure of society and family, failed to become a decent chef because of that mistake, but has now been given a chance to go back in time to redo his life.

The MC's greatest ability is that he can see the quality of all... more>> food ingredients and dishes and how to make those dishes due to his 'cheat'. To put it simply, imagine that the MC has an invisible cooking recipe book that contains the knowledge of every recipe out there. Of course, his ability to cook is even more important. Every cook out there knows how easy it is to mess up a dish, even though you are sure you followed all the steps listed in that cookbook.

While the novel is about cooking, the theme of a second chance is what appealed to me. Yeah, lots of Chinese novels have a similar theme. But the MC's over there aren't realistic, they never fail at their goals. This guy on the other hand is still human. He fails, he regrets, he agonises but in the end? He picks himself up and enters the battlefield known as the kitchen once again!!!

PS: I can't agree with one of the reviewers, who gave it a one star because the dishes are mainly Eastern (Korean, Chinese and Japanese) and Western (aka American and European). The novel is about a Korean chef. Who participates in in a US cooking show. Does a domestic show about cooking cover the food culture of every country? I think not. And the reviewers complaint does get resolved after the cooking show arc, which is about a 100-110 chapters. <<less
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Draeghe rated it
July 15, 2016
Status: c79
Reading about so many recipes really makes you hungry. Hungry at wanting to read more.

Food addicts unite! I'm almost sad I can't taste the dishes as I read.

Oh right, to say something 'review-ish'... I would like to eat more... err, read more. It's well-cooked, I mean well-done... ?? eh, well written yes. That's it.

I do think non-food addicts can also enjoy 'God of Cooking'. There's enough quality to leave your palate satisfied. I'm not going to say anything about the tags added to this story. You shouldn't judge a book... more>> by it's cover. I simply think you should give this story a taste first.

Anyways, I'm giving the novel a solid 5 simply cause I binge-read all the way to chapter 53. I only got around to reading this today and I'm writing the review right after I finished chapter 53. That's how much I wanted to express my feelings after reading the novel. Doesn't that say enough?

If I can add one more thing... it would be... Bon Appétit.

Edit: It's still appetizing at Chapter 79. <<less
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February 5, 2018
Status: c185
Writing a review just to counter that one star review about how the focus is on purely American food. It's not really his fault, he read in deeper than most would expect, chapter 101, yet at the same time, it is also a perfect example of why some novels cannot be defined from just a 100 chapters, be it beginning, climax or end.

The first and longest arc is from the first Chef tournament, which as was stressed, is held in America, attended by Americans and watched by Americans. Naturally the... more>> majority of the food displayed would be American, or European. However as if the author knew there would be exactly these kind of comments, the very next arc is a travel arc which showcases national cuisines, such as Japanese, Korean, Thai and Brazilian. No Arabian though, so at least he's not wrong in this regard.

Lastly, an actual review for this novel. I won't say much, but it is one of the most mature novels, with actual character development, subtle parody of other novels where the MC of God of Cooking pokes, investigates, tests and refines the so-called system, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that as convenient as the system is, as much of an advantage it gives him in some areas, there are A LOT of things that cannot be simplified or quantified with the typical Korean author's hard on for "system" type novels.

The MC himself grows from this, fully admitting that he does not have the talent others think he does, and he slowly peels off the inferiority and guilt he feels when he receives other's admiration for something that is not truly his own capability. A very mature and subtle outlook that I find is utterly absent from most novels of this kind.

P.S. The romance is a slow burn fluffy as **** piece of art that does not involve a brainless, meaningless harem of any kind, which as far as I am concerned, is an automatic 5 star when compared against the sea of novels we read nowadays. <<less
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elfinlerox rated it
April 13, 2017
Status: c141
This is a great novel. I don't think I need to say much, as the other reviews already points out how good this novel is.

I am writing this to address a previous review done by someone, pointing out the lack of ethnic variety in this novel.

First of all, while I can understand that you find this very flaw appalling, I implore you to consider the situation of the opposite party (author) rather than prioritizing your desire for the inclusion of many more culinary cultures. I think you're asking for a... more>> lot, you're being a rude person. One simply can't do what you say as 'homework'. What you're asking for, takes a lot of time and money, and the person writing this novel is just human. You also implicate from your review, that knowledge 'just' gathered from the internet is not good enough. Well mister or miss, to acquire some experience you'd need to actually use money and time (amount of time and money sacrificed depends on how you do it, you can go to another country, to an arabic restaurant near you're place, etc). And in this case, why would the author then bother to write this novel if he or she is going to invest a lot of time and money only to have a smaller return of investment?

As I said, the author is human. They need to make their ends meet, not to mention most of us are leeching. I still have a lot more to say, but I feel like I must've said enough to get my point across. (I tried to be as brief as possible, soz if it's too wordy and lengthy) <<less
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ArgosYesu rated it
December 29, 2016
Status: c135
Yes. Exactly what I wanted. The game system is extremely plain and simple, but put to very good use in this novel. It's not even a game system.

The cooking is seamlessly integrated into the story and doesn't come off as awkward at all. Characters are memorable and fun, and the girls are a plus~~ MC is very much an adult, which suits his position in the story. His character flows just right for me.

My only hate is how I can't read ahead Q.Q
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President_Lincoln rated it
December 17, 2017
Status: c178
I came across an interesting review below by Caolsei that heavily criticizes the author for the lack of cultural, culinary variety included in his work. I would retort that while, yes, there exist many cuisines that are not referenced, God of Cooking focuses on the pursuits of a would-be chef entering into a competitive field that is largely centric to Europe, North America, and East Asia. All restaurants currently awarded Michelin stars exist in these regions, and despite this, the novel includes mentions of Russian, Brazilian, and Indian Cuisine. With... more>> hundreds of chapters left to be translated, there exist many opportunities for other cultures and foods to be explored. Your complaints are unfounded.

Moving on to my review, God of Cooking takes the very average concept of reincarnation with OP abilities and produces a well-written, original story. The first arc follows a plot that is reminiscent of the Top Chef or Iron Chef TV shows without feeling corny or even scripted. The insider perspective offered by the characters throughout the "show" is really entertaining, and how the author incorporates a media presence offers plenty comedic relief. The novel smoothly transitions between serious, romantic, and comedic moments, all while maintaining steady pacing. The thorough character development is definitely the strong point of this work worth highlighting.

I personally find the most impressive aspect of this novel to be the romance. The gradual development of relationships throughout the story feel more authentic than most light novels dedicating to the romance genre, and in conjunction with the entertaining competitions and enticing food imagery, God of Cooking truly outdoes itself.

If there is one critique to be made, it is that recipes aren't included.

Rating: 5/5 and a President Lincoln seal of approval. <<less
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oblueknighto rated it
June 7, 2016
Status: c28
Wow, this is actually an amazing cooking novel. There's actually a story and everything! The story itself started off plain but as soon as MC got to America the narrative pulled me in and I couldn't stop reading!

The game elements so far have just been part of the character's setting and isn't as big a part as I thought it would be. It's great so far and I have hopes that it'll get even better!
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Apex Photon
Apex Photon
June 17, 2019
Status: c160
I don't like to write reviews as I'm not good with words. But its really irritating. The most liked review was the most biased review I ever saw. They saw you should never judge a book by its cover? But can everyone do that? No. I usually judge by a cover. Anyways the user caolsei is just too biased. Because of him I missed a diamond lol. Though his review is really irritating.

... more>>

He is saying about food from all corner of the world when I feel the novels pacing is slow. At first the competition act. Honestly speaking if you ask people cook arabic or similar food in american show....... well I bet you are really smart to say that. The author actually bothered to add other cuisine was generous to me. If he had solely focused on american food? Anyone would know what would happen then. Then lets say about next act. The Hunger trip show was also not that long. It only included a few countries. If you are screaming about why the author didn't include nordic or other food then, why are you excluding chinese or indo food? What about greece? India? There are way too many food variety to add. Not to mention the MC is still learning. He doesn't even know korean foods that much? Just because you found something shiny doesn't mean it always has to be gold. The story in my opinion is progressing well. Its a cooking novel but that doesn't mean it has to include everything. There are 195 countries in the world. Can a novel honestly include every countries? That is a big fat no. And most importantly, this novel is from asisan POV. I'm also asian. The number of food cultures I know is honestly few. French, Italain, American, Chinese, Thai, Indian. These are the only foreign cuisine I ate lol. And arabic?nordic?African? Honestly you can't comment about that if you haven't eaten those cuisine before.


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earlgreyt rated it
October 31, 2018
Status: c200
Being a big foodie and all, I was pretty skeptical when I first started reading this. It surprised me and surpassed my expectations. This is a very good cooking focused novel with only a couple minor issues. The writing also gets better and better the further you get. A lot of longer novels tend to drag on; so far this is absolutely not one of them! The pacing is fantastic so far and I even feel that the story has just started to really pick up.

The characters are fantastically well-rounded... more>> and 3-dimensional. They are also a wide range of personalities (though the female lead is classic tsundere), and the character development is done very well. There will be people the MC meets that dislike him on sight, but that doesn't make them bad people. It's very rare to have complex characters like this and makes the novel world feel very deep and realistic!

It's also nice that the MC, despite having a system cheat, is not instantly a top genius. You really get every step of the journey with him building up his skills. He also doesn't have the best stats of everyone starting off and has many idols he looks up to. He's also very humble and not a 'genius, ' but works harder than anyone to make up for his deficiencies. This also adds another level of realism and inspiration to the novel. I absolutely enjoyed the cooking aspect. This is definitely a novel with fantastic food descriptions and cooking techniques. When reading this novel, I had an urge to re-watch episodes of Iron Chef. When watching episodes of Iron Chef, I had an urge to read more of this novel.

While the author is probably not a chef, they have definitely done a lot of research regarding various ways of preparing food, recipes, and so on. Although the author's perspective can be a little limited regarding Korean vs. Western cooking, it's clear within the story that there are many types of western cooking, from French to Italian to Brazilian, etc. I imagine the 'western' label is probably just a generic term that is influenced by the Korean origins of this novel. In many countries in Asia, there is a tendency to lump all 'western' influences together in speech, but that doesn't mean that people in Asia don't know that Greek and Italian are different things. I'm sure in the West, there is a tendency to lump 'Asians' together the same way when speaking about it, but people still know that Korean and Japanese aren't the same thing. Thus, I wouldn't be too concerned about these labels, they definitely do not reflect the range of cooking represented inside the novel.

The translation is pretty good and the translators have my respect for figuring out all those industry/professional cooking phrases. <<less
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Elawn rated it
March 6, 2017
Status: c147
Great palate cleanser if you're tired of all those blood-thirsty idiotic MC's who will more often than not think with their lower part.

It includes everything you need: cheat ability, an amazing female lead, lots of cooking, plenty of humor and heartfelt fluffy moments.

Anyways, Korea has a brand new chef, and he's gonna make some waves...
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Gluttony rated it
October 24, 2016
Status: c112
A refreshing and wonderfully written web novel -- honestly my favourite as of this moment. Starting off quite gently, the novel incorporates a trope combination of reincarnation, from 30 to 21 again, and game characteristics with a much higher degree of realism and development than any other I've seen currently. The story, up to the latest translation, is framed through a cooking show (though it's about to extend beyond that) and the subtle incorporation of game elements. Just think: all the drama of Masterchef, sprinkled with clever use of media... more>> and seriously great characterisation.

The MC uses his knowledge of he future quite sparingly, and doesn't have a ridiculously omniscient understanding of the future, until it's quite easy to even forget that he was sent back in time.

The character development is genuinely fabulous. None of the side characters, especially the female characters don't fall to the wayside with ridiculous caricatures of personalities, and I'm left with a deep appreciation, understanding and love of every single one of them.

And characterisation of the MC frankly outstanding. Maybe it's because I've been on the wrong side of the internet, but my experience with translated Asian novels so far has been pretty much towards the wuxia side. Which as I'm sure you know, seems to be characteristic of the typical revenge tragedy plot, rags to riches (if riches were random spehsul power ups) with absurdly bizarre priorities, values and emotional reactions. But for once, I've found a MC that has genuine, realistic emotions that actually touch me. Actually.

When he cried that teensy bit as he surpassed his own expectations and skill level, I felt SO proud of him. A fictional character. Fark.

I appreciate the entire cast SO much, honestly.

So if you want something that is so fabulously engaging, with three dimensional characters, realistic challenges and strife that the MC overcomes, and a fabulous touch of humour and drama all in one.... I would definitely recommend this.

Like infinitely.

P.S. There is romance and while I'm not a huge fan, it has been developed very very well and I'm semi rooting for them (though I root for celibacy more, lol). <<less
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Potatos rated it
June 11, 2016
Status: c30
It's sort of like a battle novel but instead of fighting it's replaced with cooking. It has an RPG element, with statuses and stuff, but it isn't typical at all. A warning to be said is that it makes really hungry
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tehrealone rated it
October 4, 2016
Status: c101
A unique combination of game elements in a modern world along with some mouth-watering cooking. Currently MC is in a reality TV show similar to MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen, etc. MC doesn't heavily rely on his newfound game elements to succeed but strives to improve himself. Doesn't overly abuse his knowledge of future events like other MCs.

Characters are nicely constructed and very distinct. Lots of character development and character relationships. Writing is a bit slow paced at times but very vivid and clear. Definitely something that hasn't been seen on this... more>> site before, so I would recommend giving it a look <<less
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Flashman rated it
September 24, 2016
Status: c94
I like it. Well written and more importantly believable. People make mistakes, they grow, they fight and they make new friends. Yes this is a cooking novel but things can get sidetracked due to DRAMA! Be warned this can and will make you hungry. You may also cry in despair cause your stuck eating cup noodles while the MC is eating great food.
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