A Catalan Chef with gruff and eccentric personality meets a Canadian women who loves food like anything. Some dishes are broken, some revenge is cooked and served in the form of Vanilla Salt.
Ada Parellada is a well known Catalan chef around the world with a culinary show and few books to her name. Vanilla Salt is her debut to the fictional world, where she has mixed human emotions with food to tickle our taste buds as well as heart.
Vanilla Salt is about Alex who is struggling to keep up with upkeep of his restaurant, Antic Mon. Thanks to his gruff nature, rude attitude and eccentric personality, no one is willing to work with him. But now the debts are piling up and only solution left with Alex is to close down and then, Anette comes to rescue. A Canadian who loves food like anything takes up the job of helping him giving the old reputation to Antic Mon.
In between arguments and language barriers, Alex sees Anette’s perspective that his resistance towards usage of ingredients that have culinary origins from America has made him loose his restaurant. Ignorance towards tomatoes and potatoes, social media and experimenting with food has made things difficult for Antic Mon. But with Anette, he is able to please his customers again. But their is only a slight problem of a famous food critic, Carol, who is creating a rift between two. A love triangle brewing between Catalan cuisine and some hidden stories from the past, Vanilla Salt is a light read for the soul.
Vanilla Salt is something which I can say lacks a bit of spices. A book that opens up at a great note, lacks a bit of twists and turns here and there. But since this is Ada Parellada’s debut novel, one can also ignore such trivial things. The language of the book is easy to understand, as some of the readers assume that book might have a lot of Catalan. But it is nothing like that. As a debut writer, Ada’s creativity seems promising. I for one is looking forward to her next fiction.
I loved the way Alex cooks his exquisite Catalan dishes, humming songs and engrossing himself in sauces. His stance on restaurant food being totally Catalan might seem rigid but is a little cute as well. Someone who doesn’t want to lose his essence, Alex is a character that will take a place in your heart. I side by side googled all the dishes while reading the book and I must say, some of them made me drool a bit. The story line is easy to follow and will also crack you up at some places. But I was not fully satiated with Vanilla Salt. There were definitely some spices missing.
With a right mix of spices in form of love triangle and sugar in form of budding love between Alex and Anette, Vanilla Salt is something that you can indulge this summer for some light reading. But tread lightly..