I love watching cooking shows. I'm not really a great cook, nor do I really aspire to be one, but seeing amazing (often unknown) ingredients come together just makes me happy. I think that's at least part of what I loved about Lara M. Zeises's new book, The Sweet Life of Stella Madison: many of the chapters begin with a gourmet menu--yum!
Stella is the daughter of a restaurant owner mother and a world famous chef father. She is surrounded by gourmet food all the time, which is pretty funny because she prefers Doritos, Rice Krispie treats, and other decidedly non-gourmet delicacies. As summer begins, Stella knows she will spend time hanging out with her friends and working at her mother's restaurant, The Open Kitchen, a showcase restaurant where chefs come to demonstrate their cooking to the customers. She hopes to earn enough money to purchase a car. It's going to be a long summer, but it will be worth it. Then, due to a last-minute change at the local paper, she is offered an internship. Ironically, they want her to write restaurant reviews. She's not sure this is exactly what she wants to do, but the money is too good to pass up.
Mixed in with all the food talk is Stella's relationship with her boyfriend. She is not the commitment type, so when he starts getting serious, it's time to run. What better arms to run to than Jeremy's, the hot new intern chef at her mother's restaurant? Will Stella end up with Jeremy? Is the pressure to write a restaurant review too much for this non-gourmet girl?
The Sweet Life of Stella Madison will be released July 14, 2009.