Deep Dishby Mary Kay Andrews
"Tasty Southern adventure...[Andrews is] the queen of sass." —Daytona Beach News-Journal
After years of hard work, Gina Foxton, chef extraordinaire and former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion, is hosting her own show Fresh Start, on Georgia public television. She's also dating the producer. But when Fresh Start goes bad—and her/i>/i>/p>/i>/b>… See more details below
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"Tasty Southern adventure...[Andrews is] the queen of sass." —Daytona Beach News-Journal
After years of hard work, Gina Foxton, chef extraordinaire and former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion, is hosting her own show Fresh Start, on Georgia public television. She's also dating the producer. But when Fresh Start goes bad—and her boyfriend is caught in flagrante delicto with the boss's wife—Gina decides it's time to pursue bigger dreams. Namely a gig on national television.
Gina knows she's destined to be the Cooking Channel's next superstar. But the execs also have their eyes on Tate Moody, Mr. "Kill It and Grill It" himself, host of the hunting, fishing, and cooking show Vittles. The ultimate man's man, Tate is a tasty side of beef with a large, swooning female fan base. Gina's loyal devotees consist of her free-spirited college-dropout sister and her mother...who calls every single day.
When the smoke clears there can be only one TV chef standing, and Gina and Tate are ready for the cook-off of their lives.
"Juicy"—Raleigh News & Observer
"A real page-turner."—Allure
"Andrews's [fans] will eat this one up."—Publishers Weekly
Andrews (Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit) delivers a trademark romance set in her native Deep South. Gina Foxton is a 30-year-old chef with a health-conscious approach to classic Southern fare whose public access cooking show gets canceled when the show's big sponsor pulls out after finding the show's producer (and Gina's boyfriend) in bed with his wife. So news that the Cooking Channel is looking to add a new show is a welcome development. The producers are also interested in another local cooking show called Vittles, hosted by "Kill It and Grill It" Tate Moody. The competition between Gina and Tate ramps up when the network decides to turn their competition into a reality show. The close quarters and competition create the right atmosphere for the two chefs to fall in love, though things never get too racy. Andrews takes a long time to get the romance off the ground, but when it starts moving, it moves fast. Andrews's readership will eat this one up. (Feb.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Atlanta TV cooking star Gina Foxton notices budgetary cuts around the meager set of her local PBS show in the form of substituted ingredients, but the final straw is the replacement of mackerel for salmon in her fish dish. Worse, the budget cuts are caused by her boyfriend's affair with the wife of the sponsor, who withdraws from the show. Things look brighter when Gina gets considered for a spot on the national cooking channel. Unfortunately, Tate "Kill It and Grill It" Moody, the popular star of the cooking show Vittles , is also in the running. Humor abounds as the two rivals lock horns in their quest for the brass ring. Colorful secondary characters add to the hilarity. Readers with a taste for delectable culinary romances like Millie Criswell's The Trouble with Mary , Susan Mallery's Delicious , and Deirdre Martin's Just a Taste will enjoy Andrews's (Hissy Fit ) latest big helping of fun. For popular fiction collections of all sizes. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/07.]-Shelley Mosley,Glendale Community Coll. Lib. Media Ctr., AZCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.21(d)
Read an ExcerptDeep Dish
By Mary Kay Andrews
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 Mary Kay Andrews
All right reserved.
One more week. Gina repeated the words to herself as she stood on the set, her makeup already starting to melt under the hot lights trained on her.
Five more days, two shows a day. Ten shows. And the season would be over. She would have two weeks to rest. Two weeks with no makeup. No heels. No cameras. She would let her jaw muscles relax. Not smile for fourteen days. No cooking either, she vowed, knowing immediately that was one promise she couldn't keep. Right now she might be sick of smiling, sick of staring into a camera, sick of explaining why you had to let a roast rest before carving it, sick of chopping, dicing, slicing, and sautéing. But that would pass, she told herself. Just ten more shows.
"Ready?" Jess asked, from just off camera.
Gina took a deep breath and smiled up at the camera trained on her. "Ready."
Her brow wrinkled in intense concentration as she carefully whisked the Parmesan cheese into the bubbling pot of grits on the front burner of the cooktop.
"Turn the pot toward the camera so we can see the label," Jess said quietly from the table where she usually sat beside Scott, watching through the monitor on the laptop. Where was Scott, Gina wondered? Jessica DeRosa, hisassistant producer, was only twenty-four, just a couple years out of film school, and she was probably quite capable of directing a show on her own, but Scott was such a control freak, he rarely let her.
Without warning, the gas flame under the pot flared up, and then just as suddenly died. Gina stared down at it, grimacing in disbelief.
"You're frowning," Jess commented. "Come on, Gina, don't make it look so hard. Remember what Scott says. These recipes should look so easy, a trained chimp could fix 'em blindfolded."
The cameraman snickered, and Gina looked up to give Eddie a stare of disapproval.
"Not funny," she said. But it wasn't Eddie, the overweight, balding veteran of three seasons' worth of her shows, behind the camera. This cameraman was a kid, with a frizzy shock of blond hair sticking out from under a red bandanna worn piratelike, around his forehead.
Where was Eddie? she wondered. Were he and Scott in some kind of meeting elsewhere—maybe over at the Georgia Public Broadcasting offices?
"I'm not frowning because the recipe won't work," Gina said. "The darned stove is on the fritz again. The flame keeps flickering out. I thought Scott said we were gonna get a new stove before the season was over."
Jess shrugged. "I guess we're just gonna make do with this one for the last week. Does it make any difference?"
"Only if we want viewers to believe I know better than to try to cook grits on a cold stove."
"Keep stirring," Jess advised. "And smiling."
Perky, that's what Scott always insisted on. Nobody really cared how your food tasted, as long as you looked perky and happy while you were fixing it. And sexy. Which was why she was wearing a scoop-neck tank top that showed off her tanned shoulders and shapely arms, instead of the bib apron with "Gina Foxton" embroidered on it in flowing script that she'd worn the previous season, before Scott took over the show. And her career.
"Now add the cheese," Jess called. "And tell us why you need to keep stirring."
Gina made a show of turning down the burner, even though in reality, the burner was stone cold and now seemingly inoperative.
"Once your grits reach the boiling point, you want to turn the heat way down, to keep them from burning," she said. "Now whisk in your cheese, which you've already grated, and if it looks too thick, you can add some more of the cream to make sure you've got the right consistency."
She reached for the bowl of Parmesan and dumped it into the hot grits, stirring rapidly. But now, despite Jess's directions to the contrary, she was frowning again.
She sniffed as her nose, always hypersensitive, alerted her that something was amiss.
What was that smell? She sniffed again and realized, with horror, that the aroma wafting from the pot was not the honest corn smell of her stone-ground grits, nor the smell of homemade chicken stock, nor the fresh scent of cooking cream.
No. This . . . this smell . . . resembled nothing more than the stink of melting polymer.
"Gina," Jess said, a warning in her voice. "You're frowning again."
"Gawd, y'all," Gina exclaimed, shoving the offending pot away, toward the back burner. "This stuff reeks." As sometimes happened, usually when she was overexcited or totally aggravated, her carefully moderated accent-eradication coaching fell away in an instant. "Jee-zus H. You-know-what," Gina said. "What is this stuff?" The kid behind the camera guffawed.
Jess blinked innocently. "What?"
Gina reached over to the tray of ingredients her prep cook had placed on the countertop, and grabbed the plastic tub of grated cheese. Without her reading glasses, she had to hold the tub right up to her face to read the label.
"Cheez-Ease? Is this what we've come to? Y'all have sold my soul for a tub of dollar-ninety-eight artificial cheese made out of recycled dry-cleaning bags?"
"Please, Gina," Jess said quietly. "Can we just finish this segment?"
Gina dipped a spoon into the pot of grits and tasted. "I knew it," she said. "And that's not cream, either. Since when do we substitute canned condensed milk for cream?"
Jess stared down at her notes, then looked up, a pained expression on her face. "We're having budget issues. Scott told the girls they should substitute cheaper ingredients wherever necessary."
"He didn't say anything about it to me," Gina said, walking off the set and toward the table where Jess sat.
She hated to make a scene, hated to come across as a prima donna or a food snob. But you couldn't have a show about healthy southern cooking, a show called Fresh Start, for heaven's sake, if you started to compromise on ingredients.
"Jess," Gina said calmly. "What's going on around here?"
Jessica's pale, usually cheerful face reddened. "Let's take a break," she said. "Everybody back in ten minutes."
Excerpted from Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews Copyright © 2008 by Mary Kay Andrews. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Mary Kay Andrews is the author of eleven bestselling novels and ten critically acclaimed mysteries. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Date of Birth:
- July 27, 1954
- Place of Birth:
- Tampa, Florida
- B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976
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