Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Bru Baker for stopping by today.
Title: King of the Kitchen
Author: Bru Baker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Rising kitchen talents Beck Douglas and Duncan Walters have been on the foodie paparazzi radar for years, since their status as heirs to two of the biggest celebrity chef empires around makes them culinary royalty. Beck is known for his charm and traditional food as cohost of his uncle’s popular TV cooking show, while Duncan earned himself a reputation as a culinary bad boy, both for his refusal to work in his father’s restaurants and his avant garde approach to cooking.
They’re also heirs to a food rivalry that could put the Hatfields and McCoys to shame, and when they’re photographed in the middle of a heated argument, the press goes wild with speculation. Damage control ensues, with a fake friendship engineered by PR cronies that leaves both of them secretly pining for more.
Beck chafes under his uncle’s micromanagement, and Duncan’s relationship with his homophobic father becomes even more tenuous when Beck and Duncan start getting closer. It’s hard to hide their chemistry on national television when Duncan joins Beck’s cooking show, but they won’t be able to take their relationship—or their careers—to the next level without breaking a few eggs.
In the kitchen with Bru Baker
I’d like to thank Brandilyn and Prism Book Alliance for letting me stop by today to talk about my latest release, King of the Kitchen. I’ve been thrilled to hear from readers who loved the cooking aspect of the book, since that was by far the most fun part to write.
I’ve never been on a cooking show (thank god!), so I had to guess at what the set might be like. But I did grow up the child of a chef, so I had a pretty good idea what things would be like inside the restaurant kitchens where Beck and Duncan cooked and flirted.
A commercial kitchen is, in a word, hectic. There are a million things going on and almost all of them are dangerous. It’s one reason why the romance in the book is a slow-build—they’re dedicated to their craft, and as such neither chef would ever get up to anything compromising in the kitchen. Cooking in general demands a lot of attention, but cooking in a restaurant kitchen demands all your attention. And both Beck and Duncan are consummate professionals in the kitchen. They may be snarky and goofy outside of it, but when it comes to food, they take themselves and their responsibilities very seriously.
Restaurants also mean long work hours, especially when you throw in filming a television show on top of it. But like most chefs I know, these two play just as hard as they work. And that’s where the fun really starts. Beck and Duncan have an undeniable chemistry right from the beginning, and that just builds throughout the book. When they finally do get together, well, let’s just say that tastebuds aren’t the only thing exploding.
And on that note, I’d like to share something Beck makes for his television show in the book: roasted brussel sprouts with a balsamic glaze. Even if you think you don’t like brussel sprouts, give it a try. Most people have never had the crispy, carmelized goodness that is a roasted brussel sprout. If you’ve only ever had the boiled kind (blech), then don’t write this off til you’ve tried it! It’s also just as tasty without the balsamic reduction, so if you don’t have the ingredients on hand for that (or the patience), you’re fine to go without. It just gives it a little extra oomph.
If you haven’t been following along on the King of the Kitchen blog tour, it’s worth backtracking a bit to check out the recipes with each post. Last week I shared the recipe for my refrigerator Velcro frittata (something Duncan makes in the book) on Joyfully Jay, and I stopped in at Gay List Book Reviews with my go-to comfort food, garlic and shallot pasta. And tomorrow over on The Novel Approach I’ll be wrapping up my foodie tour with the best homemade egg rolls you’ll ever make
Beck’s brussels sprouts with balsamic reduction
1 lb brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 Tbs olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400F.
On the stovetop, bring the balsamic vinegar to a gentle simmer and let cook uncovered, stirring often, until the water cooks out and it reduces by about half. It should be a syrupy consistency that sticks to the back of your spoon or spatula when it’s ready. Take it off the heat and set aside. (This makes enough to barely coat the brussels sprouts. If you really like balsamic glazes and want a thicker one on the sprouts, start with a full cup of balsamic vinegar.)
Slice brussels sprouts and grape tomatoes length wise (through the stem). Discard any yellowed leaves on the outside of the brussels sprouts. If you want extra-crispy bits (my family’s favorite part!) then pull the larger brussels sprouts apart. Toss with the olive oil and distribute evenly on a heavy sheet pan. Arrange the sprouts and tomatoes cut-side down for maximum carmelization. Sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper to taste. Roast for twenty minutes, taking the pan out halfway through the cooking time to check for burning and stirring if necessary.
The brussels sprouts are done when they have a nice caramel color. Ovens (and sprout sizes) vary, so keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time as necessary. When they’re finished, toss them with the balsamic reduction and serve.
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About the Author
Bru Baker has been writing for Dreamspinner Press since December 2012. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, but she almost always makes her characters work to get there. She and her husband live in the Midwest with their two young children, whose antics make finding time to write difficult but never let life get boring.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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