Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram
Anjali loves cooking and works in her families Trinidadian restaurant. Anjali cooks with her grandmother. On Saturday the two attend a cooking class run by chef Nyla. Anjali loves the classes where she's able to learn about different cuisines. Anjali dreams of being a Food Network star. Her parents think cooking is simply a hobby.
Chef Nyla tells Anjali about a new Food Network contest, Super Chef Kids. Anjali enters without telling anyone. Only when Anjali is chosen as a finalist does she tell her family about the contest. Her parents are excited until they discover that the competition will conflict with a H.S entrance exam. Anjali defies her parents, continuing on with the contest. When the truth is discovered her parents are disappointed and angry. Though they soon support their daughter, who has a very good chance at being the first Super Chef Kid.
The author is a trained chef and food writer, it shows in her main character. Anjali does an excellent job in talking about and describing food. It's easy to see Anjali passion and love of cooking. Away from food the story doesn't feel as natural. I do like Anjali's relationship with her grandmother and best friend Linc. Out of all the secondary characters those two are the best develop. Though overall there wasn't much depths in the characters.
The story was okay, the food shines throughout. This would be a good suggestion for anyone who enjoys being in the kitchen. The best thing about Stir It Up are the recipes. The book is worth buying for the 14 recipes alone. Ganeshram gives step by step instructions on how to cook each one. Everything sounded delicious. Two of my favorite, the coconut dark chocolate chip cookies and the shrimp burger pitas.
But if looking for more then great recipes I'd highly recommend A La Carte by Tanita Davis. My review
An excerpt of Stir It Up