A disgraced chef rediscovers her passion for food and her roots in this stunning novel rich in culture and full of delectable recipes.
French-born American chef Sophie Valroux had one dream: to be part of the 1% of female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. From spending summers with her grandmother, who taught her the power of cooking and food, to attending the Culinary Institute of America, Sophie finds herself on the cusp of getting everything she's dreamed of.
Until her career goes up in flames.
Sabotaged by a fellow chef, Sophie is fired, leaving her reputation ruined and confidence shaken. To add fuel to the fire, Sophie learns that her grandmother has suffered a stroke and takes the red-eye to France. There, Sophie discovers the simple home she remembers from her childhood is now a luxurious château, complete with two restaurants and a vineyard. As Sophie tries to reestablish herself in the kitchen, she comes to understand the lengths people will go to for success and love, and how dreams can change.
Verant's sparkling debut novel (after the memoir How to Make a French Family) follows an ambitious French chef who leaves New York after her career is sabotaged. Sophie Valroux works as a chef de partie at Cendrillon NY, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Manhattan. Chef Dan O'Shea and his crew believe the restaurant is about to win a third star when they learn it will actually lose one. Eric, a fellow chef and Sophie's ex, who had tried unsuccessfully to lure Sophie to a new venture, convinces O'Shea that it's Sophie's fault, and O'Shea fires her without giving her the opportunity to explain. Then Sophie learns her grandmother Odette has suffered a stroke, and returns to Champvert, a village in southwestern France where she spent her childhood summers. Sophie hopes to visit with Odette, but is quickly put to work at the family ch teau, which Odette has since expanded to include renowned restaurants, and Sophie suddenly feels out of her depth. She also comes face-to-face with Remi Dupont, whom she loved years ago and who now gives her the cold shoulder. The author skillfully demonstrates Sophie's struggles to achieve mastery over her culinary vocation, as a relationship develops between Remi and Sophie. Verant's enticing culinary tale will appeal to romance fans and foodies alike, and comes complete with Sophie's delectable recipes.