I’m so pleased to host ANGELA BRITNELL on the blog today. Her new book Sugar and Spice is now available to download. Today Angela has wrote a special post for me to share with you all, I hope you enjoy!
I have a confession to make – I’m a certified Food Network addict with no desire to go to culinary rehab! Like so many people these days I spend endless hours glued to the various cooking shows and soak up all the gossip on my favourite celebrity chefs. In fact I consider myself on first name terms with them, even if they don’t return the favour. I have all the criteria used by the ‘Chopped’ judges off to a fine art, have sought out several of the restaurants featured in ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ and if I win the lottery will employ the Barefoot Contessa to be my personal chef. My addiction is international and every time I return to Cornwall, where I grew up, I instantly get hooked back on Jamie Oliver, Masterchef and the seriously compelling ‘Great British Bake Off.’
My new novel ‘Sugar and Spice’ developed from this passion and my celebrity chef ‘Luscious Lily’ is a wonderful, larger-than-life character who insisted I tell her story. She is a red-haired, sassy, Southern version of Nigella and will metaphorically grab you by the throat in the same way she does to my poor hero! The more I found out about her made me wonder what is behind so many of the celebrities we all follow so avidly. Lily’s ex-fiancé and business manager creates her ‘Luscious Lily’ persona to sell her show to the public. The cleavage-revealing tops, mini-skirts and towering stilettos – all in vibrant, sparkling shades of pink – are Lily’s work uniform. Underneath the glittery exterior is a simple, Tennessee born girl who learned to cook because it was that or be condemned to her mother’s lousy attempts in the kitchen until she could leave home. Handsome, taciturn, army veteran, Kenan is attracted to ‘Luscious Lily on first sight but it’s when he sees the hint of vulnerability and realizes how intelligent and business-savvy she really is that he falls in love with the real Lily.
Whether I’d really want to see underneath the surface of my favourite TV chefs is debatable. I’m not sure I want to know if one whose image is that of a sweet and gentle man really is a megalomaniac bully, or if the earth mother who loves nothing better than to feed her loving family is in reality a sharp-tongued witch. I’m happy to drool over the wonderful food, soak up the drama and leave it to that! I’d better go now because ‘Best Cooks in America’ will start soon, or is it ‘Worst Cooks in America’ this week? Either way I’ll be watching!