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BOOKS

The Imagined Stories Behind the Culinary Inspirations of Italy

FEAST OF SORROW

Feast Floating

Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut, FEAST OF SORROW, features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.

On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.

Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia whom Thrasius quickly falls in love with. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.

FEAST OF SORROW is based on the real life of the ancient gourmand Apicius. The cookbook that bears his name is one of the oldest in the world. 

 

 

THE SECRET CHEF

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THE SECRET CHEF, the second historical novel by Crystal King, is set in Renaissance Rome, detailing the mysterious life of one of the most famous chefs in history. THE SECRET CHEF tells the story of Bartolomeo Scappi, the private chef to four Popes and the author of one of history’s best selling cookbooks. His nephew and apprentice, Giovanni, is on a quest to find out the truth about his uncle and the fifty-year love affair that the chef hid from the world. 

THE SECRET CHEF is a fictional retelling of the life of Bartolomeo Scappi, who lived in sixteenth century Rome. When his cookbook, L’Opera, was published in 1570, it became the world’s best-selling cookbook for the next two hundred years.

THE SECRET CHEF will be published by Touchstone Books in Winter 2019. 

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