Punchy, fun and irresistible, this is the story of a girl who becomes a world-famous chef, told by those who love her, envy her and never forget her.Who is Eva Thorvald?
To her single father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can put their finger on. Eva will surprise everyone.
On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession.
Over the years, her tastes grow, and so does her ambition. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns to find out.Kitchens of the Great Midwest
is about the family you lose, the friends you make and chance connections that can define a life. Joyful, quirky or brazen, everyone lends their voice to tell Eva's story - one that's as heartwarming as it is irresistible, taking the bitter with the sweet.Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a big-hearted, funny, and class-transcending pleasure. It's also both a structural and empathetic tour de force, stepping across worlds in the American midwest, and demonstrating with an enviable tenderness and ingenuity the tug of war between our freedom to pursue our passions and our obligations to those we love. - Jim Shepard, author of THE BOOK OF ARONTender, funny, and moving, J. Ryan Stradal's debut novel made me crave my mother's magic cookie bars...and every good tomato I've ever had the privilege of eating. Kitchens of the Great Midwest manages to be at once sincere yet sharply observed, thoughtful yet swiftly paced, and the lives of its fallible, realistic, and complicated characters mattered to me deeply. It's a fantastic book. - Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of CALIFORNIAIn Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a charming, fast-moving round robin tale of food, sensuality and Midwestern culture, Mr. Stradal has delivered one extremely tasty, well-seasoned debut in what is sure to be a long and savory career - Janet Fitch, author WHITE OLEANDERFrom the quite literally burning passions of a lonely eleven-year-old girl with an exceptional palate, to the ethical dilemmas behind a batch of Blue Ribbon Peanut Butter Bars, J. Ryan Stradal writes with a special kind of meticulous tenderness - missing nothing and accepting everything.J. Ryan Stradal's writing has appeared in The Rumpus
, Los Angeles Review of Books
, Rattling Wall
, McSweeney's: The Goods
, and Hobart
, among other places, and he edits the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown
. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he co-hosts a literary-culinary events series called Hot Dish and has worked as a TV producer, notably for Ice Road Truckers
and Deadliest Catch
. He does not own a gun and a motorcycle, which makes him unique among the men in his extended family.Punchy, fun and irresistible, this is the story of a girl who becomes a world-famous chef, told by those who love her, envy her and never forget her.AVAILABLE 28/07/2015. Hardback edition to be published at the same time. Please see Indent Fiction.Has the verve and fresh delivery of Olive Kitteridge
and Where d'Ya Go, Bernadette?
A book that can be enjoyed like a meal - recipes scattered throughout with a touch of magical realism (think LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE).Pitched for literary crossover and reading groups.This book ties in with the Australian foodie culture and obsession with 'pretentious' restaurants.Manuscript available on NetGalley.