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I hadn't heard of Miriam Morrison before reading this book, so I went into it without expecting anything from it. The premise of the book sounded good - two chefs at war with each other and an undercover journalist wanting to expose the bad side of the restaurant business. I hadn't read any books set in the world of restaurants before, so Recipe for Disaster sounded like it was going to be an interesting and funny read.
The plot follows two successful chefs, Jake Goldman and Harry Hunter. Jake works hard for everything he has, working for the best chefs as a cleaner to learn his trade, and just about keeps his restaurant afloat. Harry on the other hand, has everything handed to him on a plate, and doesn't have to put too much effort into his work. Jake's new restaurant Cuisine is doing well, but he is angered to find out Harry is opening a restaurant in the same town, just as competition for him. Jake decides he has to work that bit harder to stay in business, but is Harry going to play fairly?
The other main character in the book is Kate Walker, a journalist who works for the local paper. After a disastrous relationship with her editor, Kate realises she needs a big story to keep her reputation. So she decides to do an undercover job to expose the bad side of the Restaurant buiness. She gets a job as a waitress for Jake's restaurant Cuisine, and soon befriends Jake and his staff, and actually enjoys being a waitress. But Kate keeps getting tangled in her lies about her fake life as a writer she invented to get the job at Cuisine, and finds more trouble when she finds herself finding Jake rather attractive...
This story was so easy to read, and thoroughly enjoyable I just couldn't put it down! The book starts off introducing us to the main characters by flashbacks to their early careers, and how the animosity between Jake and Harry built up, so you can see why the two men are at logger-heads with one another! This is a good device used in the book, and quickly gets you involved with the characters so you want to find out more, and of course keep reading! Also, the fact that the book is written in the third person allows it to flick between the characters easily, and makes an easy transistion throughout, so I must give full credit to the wonderful writer!
Of course, there are some more minor characters, mainly those who work in Jake's kitchen. We have Tess, another young chef, Godfrey who is a farmer and wannabe chef, Hans the barman, kirsty the head waitress and there is also Georgia, Jake's model girlfriend who hates food. How ironic considering she is dating a chef. Even though these are minor characters, they are all given a good background so they do play a great role in the book, and the fact you know them well makes for easy smooth reading.
Being set in a restaurant, there are of course many bits about cooking and food in the book. The author has clearly researched this in great detail, because she uses lots of technical terminology in the book, which isn't always explained but just adds to the books authenticity! Lots of foods and meals are mentioned, and some of the descriptions used in the book make your mouth water. I think the detail and ideas put into this book are just superb, and make it very enjoyable. She really has made the cooking aspect of the book sit nicely alongside the romance and comedy throughout, which is wonderful to read.
I adored this book and think the author has done an amazing job with this book. The characters are likeable - you actually care what happens to them, and it is so involving you can't put it down! I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a light-hearted and fun read, and especially to people who love food, because this book is simply delicious! I do hope this author Miriam Morrison writes many more books!
ISBN: 978-0099517474. Published by Arrow Books in April 2008. The paperback has 432 pages in it, and you can buy the paperback on Amazon now for £5.49.
This review was published at www.thebookbag.co.uk under my own name.
Thank you for reading!