Working title: Eating Between Males
To labour a metaphor, there were times I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew with this one. “Shleb-chefs” battling over Michelin stars were all the vogue at the time, London restaurants out-doing one another with smoking green tea and frothing langoustine foam, sexy beasts like Marco Pierre White, Novelli and Ramsay all alpha-maling their way from pan to plate. The thing I found once I started reseaching – forgive me fellow foodies – was that there’s not a lot of time for romantic shenanigans in professional kitchens, and that chefs are really quite, um, boring. They never stop working. My workaholic restaurant owners were consequently very driven, and it’s only when the action in the book moved out of London that things started to hot up. I took that as my cue to move too, and much of the end of the book was written amid packing boxes in joyful chaos. As usual it was very long, and it was a particularly difficult book to edit, the many threads too tightly woven to cut easily. I wore out half a dozen pencils on this one, but I’m proud as punch that it came out with what I hope’s a sizzling hot plot.
Trivial fact: I brought back Juno’s friends from Snap Happy as my cast list because I loved them so much, and introducing an older Sylvian brother meant I could give Felix and Phoebe from Kiss Chase a cameo appearance.