I have a confession to make. One of the main characters in my new novel, Substitute Me, Zora, is an aspiring chef. Over the course of the story Zora tries to make use of her time as a nanny to try out new recipes and menu ideas on her employers. It's a win-win situation for everyone, Zora gets cooking practice and the couple she works for gets gourmet meals at home.
So, I'm not a chef, nor do I pretend to be one on TV so I had to do some research to come up with menu ideas and different foods for Zora to cook. Sometimes I used my imagination, but a lot of times I just poached ideas from the restaurant I worked at while I was writing the book. (Yes, I was a waitress just three years ago because writing novels does not pay the bills.)
So I think it is only fair that I out the source for my culinary inspiration.
If you are ever in the Philadelphia area, please check out Geechee Girl Rice Cafe for a southern inspired brunch or dinner with an international flair. The food there is delicious. And I love how they keep their menu based on culinary dishes from the Carolinas (Gullah territory) but are never afraid to bring in new menu items from around the world. For example, periodically they host an International Home Cooked meal. In September the meal will be from Ghana and here's what on the menu for that night (Sept. 21):
Kyinkyinga: Ghanian Beef Kebab
Kelewele: Hot Plantain Crisps
Crispy Red Snapper with Ghanian Gravy
Mango fool With toasted coconut shavings
Doesn't that sound yummy?
So now my conscious is absolved. If you want to eat some of the meals Zora prepares in Substitute Me, like the big important one on page 264, that involves crab cakes and that "harmonious salad," just go to Geechee Girl and tell them I sent you.