Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson

I long to visit Tuscany - and now after reading Jenny Nelson's new book, "Georgia's Kitchen," I desire to go there even more! The beauty of the land, the delicious foods, the people...sigh....until then, I'll live vicariously through such wonderful descriptive words such as Jenny employs in this lovely story!

As the head chef of a posh Manhattan eatery, Georgia Gray was at the top of her game, and life seemed pretty good. But with the stroke of a key, a less than stellar restaurant review sends Georgia’s career careening into the stock pot. And if the day wasn’t bad enough, the discovery of a packet of cocaine in her fiancĂ©’s pants pocket causes their relationship to be sliced and diced. Suddenly Georgia’s life was like a bowl of bad gravy – lumpy and unpalatable.

Licking her considerable wounds, Georgia accepts an offer from her former culinary instructor to come to Italy for the summer and cook for the new restaurant she is opening in Tuscany. Upon her arrival, Georgia is embarrassed to learn that she will not be the head chef, as she had imagined, but sous chef to Bruno, an overbearing bear of a man. But she taps down her fury and sets her mind to learning all she can about running the kitchen and cooking to please the customer.

She meets Gianni, the handsome winemaker next door, who sweeps her off her feet with offerings of the best wine and food experiences that Italy has to offer, and takes her mind off her failed relationship with Glenn. Gianni even arranges for Georgia to become the head chef of a top-rated resort in Sicily, but always lingering in the back of her mind is her dream of opening her own restaurant back in New York and redeeming her reputation. So, at the end of the summer, she heads back home to follow that dream.

After a chance encounter with Bernard, the general manager of her former restaurant, finds them both longing for the same thing – their own place to make a mark in the culinary world of New York, they decide to jump into the frying pan and take the risk. Working together, they find financing, though some of it shady, to achieve that dream, but will their hard work pay off in the end as the customer start to roll in?

Author Jenny Nelson takes her audience inside the fascinating world of professional cooking with her debut novel, “Georgia’s Kitchen.” She gives an in-depth look at the behind the scenes action of a busy restaurant, as she journeys from the hectic energy of New York, to the gentler, but still fast-paced world of Italian cooking and back again. With authentic, likeable characters, and genuinely heartwarming situations, Nelson invokes a magical, emotional draw with her storytelling skills that will delight readers and earn a legion of fans who anxiously await her next book.

About The Author:

Jenny Nelson grew up in Larchmont, NY and graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Denver. A former web editor and producer, she worked for companies such as iVillage, Vogue.com and Style.com. She lives with her husband, twin daughters and dog in Millbrook, NY and Manhattan. Georgia’s Kitchen is her first novel.

My Thanks to Crystal Patriache at BookSparks PR and Kristin Dwyer at Simon and Schuster for the review copy of this great book.

I was not compensated for my opinions.

Music: "Speak Softly Love" (Theme from "The Godfather") instrumental by Slash of Guns and Roses; vocal version by unknown singer. "Promise Me You'll Remember" (from The Godfather III) by Harry Connick, Jr.

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