Need help for a book

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2014
Need help for a book
9
Wed, 01-01-2014 - 5:21pm

Hello all.  First, I realize that I am not a complete foodie.  I love food and watch some food network with my wife, but am sure that I am not even close to your level of knowledge and understanding, so I am asking for some opinions and help.  I am going to write my first novel.  Part of the story revolves around a restaurant, in my mind likely ethnic.  The restaurant is in a neighborhood that has seen better days, but is starting to turn around.  The character in my book gets a chance opportunity via the restaurant.  Basically, the lazy cook and waitress get into a fight and walk out of the restaurant one evening when there is only a party of four in the place.  By chance, one of the customers happens to be an anonymous food critic who is so far not impressed with the dishes provided by the lazy cook.  The main character (without going into any more unnecessary detail as to how) ends up in the kitchen and makes a dish (I was thinking a dessert) simply by following the old family recipes (found in the kitchen) to the letter.  I know that this is a stretch but it fits in the story.  Anyway, I am looking for a restaurant style and dish to use for this situation.  I would prefer not Italian, but am open to other ideas.  In addition to recommendations, why you are recommending them would also be very valuable.  Thank you in advance.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-01-2014 - 8:44pm
Haven't I heard this somewhere before... Oh YEAH. Ratatouille
Avatar for love.actually
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2005
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 11:36am

Even though I don't agree with the above comment's attitude (could we be any snottier?), I do agree that the premise sounds 90% similar to Ratatouille. Here's the plot summary if you haven't seen/heard of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratatouille_(film)#Plot

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2014
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 5:12pm

Wow, my writeup does make it sound like Ratatouille, and I really do appreciate you all pointing that out.  Sometimes that is the best kind of feedback allowing you to head off a mistake early.  However, in actuality it is not Ratatouille, as this part of the book is only a plot point not the point of the book.  Maybe I will add a quick reference to it though.  Now, any actual culinary recommendations out there?  Thanks again in advance.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 10:24pm

Actually, I COULD be snottier, if I wished.  What I will say, is that if you want to be a writer, then write.  Write what you know.  For what you don't know, do your OWN research, whether it is about ethnic desserts, nanobots, global warming or knitting.  You will learn much more than just the mechanics.  And avoid recycling much used plot points, which will be difficult, because there ain't much new under the sun.   

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 10:43pm

Hi, I am Karen the Curious Chef and this is by no means a forum where everyone is an expert.  Quite the opposite.  Second, let me apologize for the rude answers you have gotten.  This is not typical of my boards, but my regular members are not here just now.  Welcome to our boards!

I'm interested in your book idea, but not too sure what you need.  I  have owned 2 successful diners and EVERYTHING was built on family recipes, home cooking, that I could torture the public with (haha!).  Are you sure it should be a dessert?  Sweets are so easy for anyone to like.  Not a big challenge, in a restaurant.  

But here goes:

All Good Pie
(This goes back to the Great Depression)

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans or your favorite nuts
3 eggs
1 tbsp vinegar

Cream sugar and butter, add beaten eggs and beat well.  Add raisins that have been rinsed and dried, then nuts and vinegar last.  Bake in a slow oven in an unbaked pie shell (makes 2 pies).

This was my great grandmother's traditional holiday pie.  My daughter made it for us, from this recipe, this Christmas.  It was a huge blast from the past.  And it was fabulous!


 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2014
Fri, 01-03-2014 - 9:20am

Thanks K_roni.  I'm not sure why sabertooth is so upset, but whatever.  All feedback plus discussion with my wife has caused me to change my plan a bit.  Still a similar concept for this MINOR plot point, but I think that I am going to have the character fuse vietnamese or korean influence on some dishes in a manner that he is already familiar with (again part of the backstory).  And I still promise that I am not developing a remake of Ratatouille.  

I realized, as did you, that a dessert may not be the best option.  I would be glad to message you privately more details if you are interested, but am fine with the general discussion on the board as well.  I will get some vietnamese and korean cookbooks before I post any more questions, but again greatly appreciate your feedback.  Thanks.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 6:53pm
Maybe our Kroni or Karen ^ she up in the other folders. If you like to post to her... Could or can be of some help she is the whiz in this one.. I hope she looks down in this folder she is the one to ask.. But I do think I remember reading something like this one before.. Good luck on your book...
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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 6:56pm
THANKS Kroni!!! For this post ..
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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 6:59pm
I also want to say I am sorry because we aren't to talk that way to anyone its not right.. YOU asked a question .. or wanted a opinion.. I thank you for not taking that person the way they spoke to you.. AGAIN I also am sorry.. I thank Kroni for popping in here SHE kinda knows a lot...
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