The Chef's Secret : A Novel
When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate-properties, money, and his position-to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi's dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni's life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle's secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi's journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder-all to protect an illicit love affair.
As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi's past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces-his brother Cesare and Scappi's former protege, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef's recipes.
With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef's Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.
- Paperback | 352 pages
- 133 x 203 x 18mm | 261g
- 12 Feb 2019
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Emily Bestler Books
- New York, United States
- 1-c 3 pieces of art to be recreated;
-- Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage "Crystal King's debut novel, Feast of Sorrow, tells the story of Apicius, the notorious gourmand of ancient Rome, from the viewpoint of his slave and cook Thrasius. It's a dark and engrossing read, and provides an evocative new perspective on the rule of Tiberius." -- Emily Hauser, author of For the Most Beautiful "Crystal King has written a delicious feast of a book, one that allows us to not only see, but also taste ancient Rome in all its dark and varied appetites." -- Yael Goldstein Love, author of Overture "The historical world of Feast of Sorrow lives and breathes, and it is a delight to follow its characters' struggle for happiness and survival amidst the simmering peril of Rome's great houses. Even if you're not a foodie drawn to novels of ancient Rome, this immersive, sensorily rich page-turner will take you for a delicious and unforgettable ride." -- Tim Weed, author of Will Poole's Island 'An engaging foray into the treacherous world of Claudio-Julian Rome from a fresh perspective. Who knew that the gourmand Apicius was larger than life? King deftly serves up intrigue, scandal and heartbreak with lashings of exotic sauces, mouth-watering recipes and the occasional drop of poison. Highly recommended." -- Elisabeth Storrs, author of the series Tales of Ancient Rome "The ancient Rome of Crystal King's Feast of Sorrow is filled with delectable dishes and astonishing injustice, deep loyalties and stunning loss. By the time you're done, you'll want a sip of honeyed water alongside some fried hyacinth bulbs. An engrossing read." -- Marjan Kamali, author of Together Tea "Ancient Rome comes alive with a remarkable degree of immediacy and authenticity. I savored every page of this compulsively readable novel." -- Lisa Borders, author of The Fifty First State "King excels at researching a historical period, and her knowledge of the culinary life of early imperial Rome is second to none. When Thrasius cooks up a particular recipe for one of Apicius' extravagant dinners, the reader's mouth waters, even when the ingredients are unfamiliar. By recreating Apicius' famous recipes, the world of ancient Rome comes to vivid, sparkling life." * BookReporter * "Upstairs/downstairs drama meets food porn meets historical fiction." * Epicurious * "Crystal King seamlessly weaves questions about power, morality, and family into this completely immersive and compulsively readable debut." -- Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana and A World on Fire "A plunge into the ancient Roman world in all its senses-especially taste. But the character studies of the people are even tastier than the recipes! A Roman feast on many levels, all delicious." -- Margaret George
About Crystal King