Eating Authors: Anthea Sharp

No Comments » Written on June 21st, 2021 by
Categories: Plugs
Anthea Sharp

One of the things I’ve missed about conventions is meeting new people. Especially when I’m doing programming, there are usually folks on the panels with me whom I’ve never met. As I mentioned previously, I have not been a big fan of the online version of most conventions, but I recently participated in SFFCon, which has only ever existed as an online event (and the entire programming is available on their YouTube channel). That’s your segue to how I met this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest. Anthea Sharp was the moderator of a panel involving me, Martha Carr, and Wendy Van Camp, the four of us talking about the tools we use to juggle multiple projects at the same time.

Anthea is a USA Today bestselling author of YA fantasy, blending fairy tales and computer gaming in her fiction. Not content with that mash-up, she also writes Victorian Spacepunk. Her latest book (out this past May) is White as Frost, the first volume of a new Darkwood Trilogy. This is Snow White and Rose Red in a whole new light.

LMS: Welcome, Anthea. What stands out in your memory as your best meal ever?

AS: The best meal I remember having was at Kirala Japanese restaurant in Berkeley, back in 2001. My husband and I and our 18-month-old daughter were traveling from WA to CA and stopped in the Bay Area to visit relatives. After a long day in the van with a young child who needed a lot of attention, we weren’t sure about going out to eat, but they wanted to treat us to dinner. So, after splashing some water on our faces and packing a bag full of entertainments for the kid, we headed out for sushi.

White As Frost

I don’t recall the ambiance at Kirala, particularly, but from the moment the bacon-wrapped asparagus appetizer came out to the crispy sesame ball dessert, the meal was simply splendiferous. Melt-in-your-mouth tuna and salmon underpinned with just the right hit of wasabi, draped languidly over perfectly seasoned sushi rice. Seaweed salad like a soy-flavored mouthful of ocean, but even that was tender, too, without the annoying stringiness of most wakame. We ordered plate after plate – sizzling gyoza, vegetable tempura light as clouds, sweet and smoky unagi rolls. Even that old staple, teriyaki chicken, was grilled to perfection and complemented by, not drowned in, a piquant sauce. Nothing we hadn’t eaten before (except the bacon-wrapped grilled asparagus, which was crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked inside) but a fine example of taking every element of the food one or two steps further into greatness. Super fresh, super well-prepared, exquisitely flavored.

We talked and ate and had a bit of palate-cleansing sake, and the meal probably took two hours. Through it all, our kid was amazing – hanging out in her high chair, scribbling with crayons, eating shelled edamame and bits of sticky rice with her fingers. I recall a nearby couple stopped at our table just to mention how great our kid had been throughout the lengthy meal. One of those perfect confluences of everything going right, from the fabulous food to the gracious company, to the well-behaved offspring. Memorable indeed.

Thanks, Anthea. I have a profound weakness for sushi, especially the quality of sushi that’s readily available in the Bay Area. It’s why I don’t dare live there. For similar reasons I am not permitted to live in New Orleans. It’s a sort of geographically-enforce moderation.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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