Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 6:00pm
Since cave-dwelling days, humans have been hunting and gathering and preparing trophies for eating. By the 17th century, when this novel takes place, cooking had advanced beyond the roasting of meat over an open fire into the art of gastronomy. From an early age, John Saturnall has been tutored by his mother, an herbalist believed to be a witch, to assist her and understand the subtleties of the kitchen. Upon her death after she and her son are forced from their village, John is dispatched to the estate of Sir William Fremantle, where his mother once worked. As he rises in the ranks from scullery boy to assistant master cook, he catches the eye of Sir William's feisty daughter, Lucretia. When she is promised in marriage to the loathsome Piers Callock, whose family's close connection will ensure the estate's inheritance, she launches a hunger strike in protest. John is presented with the challenge of creating food that will persuade her to eat. Sumptuous recipes and food descriptions intensify the seductive love story of John and Lucretia, turning a tasty treat into a literary feast.
160 Courthouse Sq