Vanilla Salt is the debut novel from Ada Parellada, a respected chef. It follows the story of Annette and Alex, their past and their present, and their struggles to keep their restaurant afloat (but for different reasons!) The character of Alex is a typical chef (I should know, I’ve worked with lots as a hotel manager!) he is fiery, rude and arrogant. In stark contrast Annette is a shy Canadian who has decided to relocate to the Catalan region to start afresh.
Packed full of mouth-watering descriptions of recipes and methods, you can tell that Parellada knows her way around a kitchen and she too has clearly met her fair share of arrogant chefs! Alex refuses to have potatoes, tomatoes or anything remotely American in his kitchen, but throughout the book we are given little snippets of foodie history and origins from Annette.
Without giving too much away, Annette and Alex need to learn to overcome their differences if there is to be any hope of their restaurant being a success, and they battle temper tantrums, debt and an interfering journalist along the way. More than a few surprising relationships spring up throughout the book, some slightly less believable than others! Originally written in the author’s mother tongue this seems to be a pretty good interpretation as far as I can tell, even with the Canadian Annette’s odd grasp of Catalan!
I zipped through this in a few days, my train journey to work is really giving me a helping hand with extra book reading time!
Just launched in English on 17th July, I have two copies of Vanilla Salt to giveaway! UK addresses only, ending on 5/8/14.