A Korean American teen tries to balance her dream to become a chef with the cultural expectations of her family when she enters the competitive world of a TV cooking show. A hilarious and heartfelt YA novel from the award-winning author of Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim and Re Jane.
"Park’s novel delivers authentic characters who will make you laugh…and cry. Not to be missed!" --Ellen Oh, author of The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee
Jackie Oh is done being your model minority.
She just hasn’t told her second-gen Korean American parents yet. They would never understand her unconventional dream to become a professional chef. Just ask her brother Justin, who hasn't heard from them since he was sent to Rikers Island.
For now, when she isn’t avoiding studying for Global History, Jackie is improving her French cooking techniques and working at her grandparents’ Midtown deli Melty’s.
Then the most unexpected thing happens: Jackie gets recruited for a casting audition for the teen edition of Burn Off!, her favorite competitive cooking show. Even more unexpected, Jackie becomes a contestant.
Jackie is thrown headfirst into the cutthroat competitive TV show world filled with psych outs, picky mom critiques, and dreaded microaggressions to lean into her heritage.
All Jackie wants to do is cook her way. But is her way to cook traditional French cuisine? Lean into her heritage? Or is it something more? To advance through the competition, Jackie must prove who she is on and off the plate.
Patricia Park's hilarious and stunning What’s Eating Jackie Oh? explores the delicate balance of identity, ambition, and the cultural expectations to perform.