by Mark Spivak
GENRE: Thriller (Culinary)
In 1990 some critics believe that
most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, cut a deal with the Devil to
achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano
is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering America Palm
Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the
Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.
Journalist David Fox arrives in
to interview the chef for a story on the
restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la
Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of
Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Palm
Beach and write his authorized biography.
David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of
cocaine coming up from the Florida Caribbean; the
Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the
chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As
his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and
reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.
A truly compelling and intriguing thriller that takes place in the kitchen of a famous restaurant. I was attracted by the cover but the plot has really not disappointed me. It keeps you enthralled and engrossed throughout the story.
Joseph Soderini is an internationally famous chef and is about to celebrate twenty-five years of his restaurant, and invite David Fox, a journalist to write his official biography. But behind his activities are hidden strange trades. David will find himself in very complicated situations, but who has killed Joseph's partner?
This was a fun and enjoyable read. The plot was well woven and all the characters were complex and charming. It 's a truly original book, is the first time I read a culinary thriller. I loved the dishes that have appeared throughout the story, I would really like to eat them.
Good debut for this author, I can't wait to read her next work.
It was a fun and easy read; perfect for summer....
Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship. One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table. His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.
The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin-stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of 10,000 cookbooks. This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in
Even more intriguing was the Chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death,
except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone. Palm Beach
“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the 25th anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the
for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since
2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his
running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the
Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the
Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Academy
of Wine Communications
Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.
Amazon author page URL
Barnes and Noble Author URL
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