Eating Authors: Gail Carriger

1 Comment » Written on February 27th, 2012 by
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Gail Carriger

Welcome. You’re just in time for a special tea-drinking edition of the blog feature that asks SF & F authors to recall memories of their favorite gustatory experiences.

Dropping in this week is Gail Carriger, best selling author of The Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and launching today, Timeless), a refreshingly charming take on the current trend of supernatural fiction.

LMS: Much like the Amazing Conroy, your protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti, enjoys a fine meal. And I suspect you do too. So tell me, what’s your best, most memorable meal?

GC: I love food so this is a difficult question for me to answer.

I believe the single best meal I ever ate was in Monterosso al Mare, (one of the five tiny towns that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Riveria). I was there on the four day break we got in the middle of excavation season (July 1995) with three other archaeology undergraduates. We wandered into this little restaurant, I don’t recall the name. All I remember is we walked down, so the windows were at street level and we got a view of everyone’s shoes walking past. We started with prosciutto e melone (which was more amazing than any before or since) and then we ate this risotto seafood dish ~ fruite de mar. It was as if they had taken a net and scraped it across the sea floor ~ crayfish, clams, muscles, oysters, white fish, salmon, and fresh veggies scattered over this amazing rice. The seafood was cooked perfectly, fresh and glistening. The onion and tomato rice was gooey in the center and backed crisp and crunchy on the top. We had a bottle of cheep Chianti to go with… magic.

Timeless
Souless

My all time best reoccurring meal is the peppered alpaca stake at Cafe Manu in Cuzco, Peru. Alpaca is like the Kobe beef of the pork world. It is amazing when it is cooked correctly. This is a non-traditional preparation, served with a French style peppered cream sauce and a simple baked potato. I have it with a pint of maracuja juice (passion fruit) and life is good. Anytime I am excavating near Cuzco I always try to visit to eat this dish.

Lastly, I have to pick a desert. Raspberry Pavlova at the Lord Nelson in Topsham, Devon. Meringue cooked the British way, crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle, with fresh raspberries and clotted cream sandwiched in between the meringue layers and a raspberry sauce reduction drizzled about. With a nice spot of tea? Heaven. Pure heaven.

I could keep going. There are some who speculate I chose a career as an archaeologist so I could eat my way around exotic locations… I’m not denying it.

Thank you, Gail. Alpaca, you say. Curiouser and curiouser.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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