Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
All of my favorite things - smart characters, descriptions of exotic dishes, recipes, menus - come together in Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Eva, the central character, is born in the first chapter and ages rapidly in subsequent chapters where she sometimes plays only a minor role. Eva has a talent for food - knowing ingredients, putting together a meal, and even using food as a weapon. I loved watching her grow into an enigmatic chef so popular people would pay thousands of dollars and endure years on a waiting list just to eat at one of her mysterious pop-up dinners. The chapter titled "Bars" is all about those delicious 9 x 13 pan-baked creations and was the tastiest of the whole book for me.