Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Special - - Louisa Edwards

Like many of us, Louisa Edwards discovered romance at a young age.  In her case, by sneaking Harlequins out of her visiting grandmother's suitcase!  A cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr, she never outgrew her love of romance and, following college, landed a job as an editorial assistant with Penguin Group (USA) in New York City.  After marriage to her journalist husband, Louisa left the bright lights of the big city behind and settled into life in Ohio.  While there, she began reviewing books, took a job with the Culinary Vegetable Institute and started cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It's our good fortune that she decided to marry her interests by writing culinary romance novels of her own.  Her current release, Just One Taste, is the third book in her Recipe for Love series and will have you ready to cook up a little romance with your favorite hero!  Please give Louisa a warm welcome as she blogs about "The Unbearable Hotness of Chefs."

The Unbearable Hotness of Chefs
By Louisa Edwards

When I first decided to write a culinary romance, it was mostly out of a desire to explore the fascinating, secret world behind the restaurant scenes. Not because I love food, although I do, or because I find cooking endlessly interesting, although that’s true, too.

No. The real inspiration behind the Recipe for Love series is my undying attraction to professional chefs. Guys like Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone, Todd English . . . men from all over the world, all different walks of life, who cook many and varied styles of food. So what do they all have in common? What makes them such perfect romantic heroes?

Let’s break it down. A restaurant chef is indisputably the master of his domain. He’s the definition of “alpha”—everything in the kitchen happens under his watchful eye. His subordinates might love him or hate him, but either way, they respect him.

But a chef is also a craftsman. Cooking is a craft, more creative than business or accounting, but not so free-flowing as pure art. There are techniques to master; there is training to complete. Chefs are professionals, but the best of them are also imaginative, intuitive, and a little playful.

And one thing every chef has in common is passion for his work. To be a chef, you have to love what you do, because if you don’t, the crazy hours and back-breaking physicality of the job will do you in.

My chef heroes are all alpha males, who demand and deserve the respect of their peers. To varying degrees, they all possess active imaginations, which they use in the kitchen—and in the bedroom! And each and every one of them is passionate, both in his work, and with his heroine.

Wes Murphy, the hero of Just One Taste, is no exception! Still working his way up the restaurant ladder, he’s ambitious, determined to be the best in his field, and unwilling to be sidetracked by anything—except his lovely food chemistry professor, Dr. Rosemary Wilkins. When a seductive experiment with aphrodisiacs sparks real chemistry between them, however, Wes has to make a choice between his passion for cooking, and his desire for Rosemary . . .

So tell me—who’s your favorite chef? Could be a celebrity with his own show, could be the 85-year-old guy with the beard down at your corner Italian joint, could be your husband rustling up breakfast! But whose passion for food and ability to imagine new flavor combinations makes your mouth water? One of you who takes the time to comment will receive a signature Recipe for Love collection of goodies!

Okay, readers!  Let's hear all about your favorite chef.  One of you lucky commenters will be ready to cook up a little romance in your own kitchen with Louisa's terrific Recipe for Love prize package of two champagne flutes, two spatulas and a "Can't Stand the Heat" apron!

To learn more about Louisa and her books, please visit her website, join her facebook fan page and follow her at twitter.  


  1. Congrats on the new release, Louisa. One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Tyler Florence. I first saw him on Food 911 on the Food Network. I'm a new fan of Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution show.

  2. Ihave a few I loveee Rachele Ray but I also like Paula Dean and Chef Ramsey

    congrats on ur new release Louisa ur books are just awesome

  3. I was slow to discover the Food Network because I had stopped watching tv some time ago, now of course I watch it every evening. Can I cook like that? Uhh no, but I love watching it.

    Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Alton Brown, Paula Deem, Rachele Ray and Melissa De' Arabian are among my favs.

  4. My current favorite chef on television is Kevin who just won Top Chef. First of all he's from New Jersey where I grew up and he was almost sent home a couple of times but did not let that shake his confidence.

  5. Congrats on the new release Louisa!

    I think one of my favorite chefs would have to be Alton Brown on FN's Good Eats. I love how he gets down to basics and really explains the science of cooking and why things happen the way they do. Plus, I love how he doesn't believe in unitaskers and loves to rig up his own contraptions, lol.

    But I am also a big fan of Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Rachael Ray (I know a lot of people look down on her and her recipes, but I really think her recipes and tips work for today's busy families) and the people at America's Test Kitchen.

    As for Paula Deen, I love her personality, and her recipes are undoubtedly delicious, but everything she makes either has a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, a cup of cream, or some bacon or a combo thereof. How has she not had a heart attach by now???!!! lol

  6. I like Tyler Florence too, Jane! A few years ago, he did his show from a bakery/deli in Phoenix that was owned by a friend of mine. She said he was one of the nicest people she'd ever met.

  7. I like Rachel Ray too, SiNn. And I agree, Louisa's books are awesome! :)

  8. Dianna, I'm relatively new to the Food Network too. My cable company just started carrying it a few years ago. Do you watch Next Food Network Star? I think the latest winner, Aarti, is just adorable! I've been watching her new show and excited about trying some of her recipes.

  9. Maureen, I haven't watched Top Chef but I know many people who are addicted. One more show I need to give a try!

  10. Hi Lisa! I like Alton too. And I'm with you on Paula. I love her personality and her food looks so delicious but wow...cholesterol overload!

  11. I really like Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa. She has a beautiful smile. She has tons of friends and her husband Jeffrey, who are always willing to sample her goodies! She makes yummy looking dishes and explains everything in terms that you can understand. I love visiting her kitchen and also checking out the Hamptons too.

  12. My favorite chef is Gordon Ramsay. I saw him first on the BBC America channels The F Word and the British version of Kitchen Nightmares before he came over to America and Hell's Kitchen.
    Congratulations on the new book.
    I really enjoy your writing.

  13. I loved Just One Taste, Louisa. It's my favorite of your books.

    Aussie Curtis Stone is my favorite celebrity chef. That smile! Those eyes! Definitely romance novel hero material, and just one taste would surely not be enough for readers. :)

  14. Among celebrity chefs, I still like Emeril Lagasse. But for regular folks who cook with love, my favorite would be Mom.

  15. Jane - Thanks! I love Tyler, he's cute as a button. Jamie Oliver makes me swoony!

    SiNn - Aw, Paula! I met her once, and she is every bit as warm and sweet in person.

    Dianna - That's the great thing about the Food Network (and my books, LOL)--you don't have to be a great chef to enjoy food!

    Maureen - Interesting one! I've met Kevin Sbraga, and he comes across as very quietly confident in person. Really nice guy!

    Lisa - Alton Brown is great! He's one of my favorite things about Iron Chef, love his depth of food knowledge. And you said the magic words: 'Eric Ripert' *swoon*

    PJ - Thanks again for having me here! I love this site.

    Laurie - I've actually met Ina Garten, too, and she's incredibly intelligent, charming, and warm in person. Love her! And her recipes are totally foolproof, turn out great every time.

    Gigi - I adore the UK version of Kitchen Nightmares! That was my first experience of Gordon, too, and I totally fell for him.

    Janga - Wow, that's amazingly nice to hear. Thank you so much! And yes, Curtis Stone! Yum...

    LSUReader - Can't believe you're the first person who mentioned your mom! My mom and dad are two of my favorite cooks in the world, too.

  16. since i don't really watch chefs on tv i must say that my fav chefs can be found between the pages of your recipe for love series. and though i love them all in their own way, FRANKIE is my fav. first, because he is british and who doesn't love a sexy accent. second, because he loves punk. and third, because i love the growth of his character throughout the series. and fourth becuase i just LOVE frankie and jess together.

    so looking forward to your next series.

  17. Congrats on your new release! I love Alton Brown and "Good Eats". I appreciate the combination of cooking and science. Plus, his characters in his show are real characters! (gadget guru W is really his chiropractor)


  18. Hi, Louisa! It's great having you with us today.

    I love watching chefs whip up masterpieces, and I would love to be their personal taster. ;-)

    Paula Deen appeals to my Southern roots, butter and all. LOL Anthony Bourdain is so raw and irreverent-- he cracks me up.

  19. Karyn - Aw, that's sweet! And Sunday brunch is no mean feat. Congrats on snagging him!

    Peggy - Rachel's got some great recipes, and some fun tips and tricks, for sure!

    Diane - Oh my gosh, I just got chills! And maybe teared up a little. Thank you so much! I love Frankie, too, and it means a lot to hear from readers who love him.

    Sheree - If you like the combo of food and science, you might enjoy Just One Taste--I had a great time incorporating trivia and food chemistry facts into the story.

    Gannon Carr - Ooooh, Tony Bourdain. One of my absolute favorites! Thanks for having me here to talk about hot chefs with you guys...

  20. PJ said...
    Do you watch Next Food Network Star? I think the latest winner, Aarti, is just adorable! I've been watching her new show and excited about trying some of her recipes.

    I love the Next Food Network star and I was rooting for Aarti from the beginning. I was the same way last year with Melissa D'Arabian. I don't get to see either of their shows though because I am working and have yet to replace my recorder.

  21. Louisa, thanks for visiting with us today and thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. If you haven't yet read Louisa's books, I hope you'll give them a try. I've thoroughly enjoyed all three!

  22. My favorite chef is my husband. He was cooking well before we got married. His mom said it was so nice to come home from a long day at work, pull into the carport and smell bread baking. That was when he was in high school. He liked watching the Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr and still does several of his recipes.
    I always liked Julia Child. She was so much fun to watch.
    We both watched Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet.

    I haven't really watched the Food Network. The cooking shows I have seen have been a bit extreme. Where does it say you have to be a bully and a jerk to be a chef? Paula Dean is fun, but the amount of butter and sugar she uses make me cringe and want to eat it at the same time : )