Last Bite: A Novel of Culinary Romance

Last Bite: A Novel of Culinary Romance

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by Nancy Verde Barr
     
 

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After ending a bad relationship, Casey Costello, an executive chef at a morning television show, swears off men. Who has the time anyway? She's busy overseeing a rambunctious food-prep crew in a kitchen the size of a closet; trying to please high-maintenance celebrity guest chefs; and dealing with her large extended Italian American family, who believe that the… See more details below

Overview

After ending a bad relationship, Casey Costello, an executive chef at a morning television show, swears off men. Who has the time anyway? She's busy overseeing a rambunctious food-prep crew in a kitchen the size of a closet; trying to please high-maintenance celebrity guest chefs; and dealing with her large extended Italian American family, who believe that the solutions to life's problems involve food. And in the midst of her high-energy, stress-inducing career—punctuated by a steady stream of parties and restaurant openings that must not be missed—she's trying to uncover why Sally Woods, a grand old dame of the culinary world and regular on the television show, is suddenly ready to jump ship and find a new station and a new executive chef.

When Danny O'Shea, a handsome chef from one of New York's hottest new restaurants, makes a guest appearance on the show, Casey smells trouble. But feelings ignite faster than a flambé dessert, especially when Danny whips up a few surprises during a television shoot in Italy.

Narrated in Casey's smart and refreshingly disarming voice, Last Bite is an irresistible culinary caper, with characters whose appetites are as big as their personalities.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barr, a former culinary TV producer for Good Morning America, a cookbook author (Make It Italian) and a former executive chef to Julia Child, novelizes her background and expertise. Casey Costello is an executive chef at TV newsmagazine Morning in America in New York. After her relationship with a dentist goes awry, Casey moves in with her food-loving Italian family. Despite eating well, Casey's cynical attitude toward men remains, even when Danny O'Shea, a chef from one of New York's hottest new restaurants, makes a guest appearance on the show-and makes it clear he's interested in her. All the "will-she-succumb?" that follows isn't enough to sustain the book, but Barr weaves in a subplot revolving around the morning show's fearless and lovable host, Sally Woods, who finds herself enveloped in her deceased husband's unseemly business. That allows Barr to take Casey to Italy, where she is successful in peppering the plot with authentic culinary snapshots. There's not much here, but it's well composed. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As executive chef for a morning television show, 29-year-old Casey Costello not only cooks with a great bunch of people, including venerable culinary icon Sally Woods, but also gets to work with a variety of celebrity guest chefs. The show's latest guest is none other than Danny O'Shea, and Casey quickly discovers that working with the wickedly sexy and annoyingly irresistible Irishman is going to be an unparalleled adventure. Cookbook author Barr (Make It Italian) uses her own experience as an executive chef to Julia Child and a television culinary producer to give her leisurely paced yet utterly charming love story its vivid sense of realism. She deftly seasons the writing with a touch of tart wit, and while there are no recipes, the author's luscious accounts of the different dishes prepared and meals consumed are almost as good. Recommended for all public libraries.-John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young New York chef finds romance and intrigue when she travels to Italy for her television job. Executive chef Casey Costello handles all the cooking segments for popular daily TV show Morning in America. She and her team support Sally Woods, a much-loved yet feisty food legend, putting together breezy three-and-a-half-minute demonstrations that are wonders of organization. Casey's personal life, by contrast, is a shambles, and the novel opens with her licking her wounds after being dumped by her dentist boyfriend. Enter Danny O'Shea, a talented restaurant chef/owner who takes a shine to Casey when he is booked as a guest on the show. Casey spurns the advances of the devilishly attractive Irishman for no better reason, perhaps, than to make their inevitable hook-up all the sweeter. Readers don't have to wait long, as Casey travels to Italy with Sally to shoot a series of TV spots. Danny, who happens to be in Europe for business, shows up at Casey's surprise 30th-birthday party, leading to a dizzyingly romantic rendezvous in Florence. The two grow close, but she wonders if Danny's charm is pure blarney. Meanwhile, Sally has inexplicitly taken up with an odious new agent who has managed to alienate all her colleagues and talk her into several bad business decisions. When this shady character shows up in Italy, Casey wonders if there is more to the story and inadvertently uncovers a blackmail plot involving Sally's late husband Peter, who was a nuclear scientist. It is then up to Casey (with a little help from Danny) to unravel the mystery, save her friend and boss and get them back to New York in time to film their "Baked Alaska" episode. The expertly handled cooking passages add flavor tothe standard boy-meets-girl story. This fiction debut from Julia Child's longtime executive chef vividly captures the convivial but hectic world of food television.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616202835
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
07/31/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
248,571
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

"Dishy! Food, cooking, love, a luscious Irishman, and even a side dish of intrigue make Last Bite a book to devour in a couple of greedy gulps."

—Barbara Samuel, author of The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue and Lady Luck's Map of Vegas

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