By Agnes Desarthe

At forty-three, Myriam has been a spouse, mom, and lover—but by no means a restauranteur. while she opens Chez Moi in a quiet local in Paris, she has no concept tips on how to run a enterprise, yet armed merely along with her love of cooking, she is decided to aim. slightly capable of pay the lease, Myriam secretly sleeps within the eating room and bathes within the kitchen sink, whereas suffering to return to phrases with the painful thoughts of her previous. yet quickly adequate her delectable food brings her many buddies to Chez Moi, and Myriam unearths that she may perhaps get a moment likelihood at existence and love. Redolent with the attractions, smells, and tastes of Paris, Chez Moi is a captivating tale that may attract the numerous readers who fell in love with Joanne Harris’s Chocolat and Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate.

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I notice I’ve left a bra drying on the gas tap. That’s the drawback with an open kitchen. I put it in my pocket and open the fridge to get out my old steak aiguillette - a waste that would break many a house-wife’s heart - because it’s meatball day. But with me it’s different. I run a restaurant. I can do what I like with expensive cuts of meat. It’s not a waste, it’s a sign of quality. I mince the luxury meat and, so as not to disturb my two young philosophers’ chat, I take the processor into the toilets.

It cost a fortune and it’s so easy to do it’s soulless. It’s the sea they should be thanking, not me. My own vanity is intoxicating. I’ve made the decision: no more raw fish. My first two customers are schoolgirls. They come through the door at quarter past twelve. Chez moi has been open for several days. I’ve had a visit from the florist next door who has bad breath and claims to be very persnickety. He announces the fact proudly, as if it were some sort of prestigious pedigree. I think he chose the flower trade in the hope of masking the wafting bile that creates such a stench on his palate.

Of course, I do nothing of the sort. When they order only a first course I don’t try to hide my surprise. ‘It’s too expensive,’ they explain. ‘But you’ll be hungry, afterwards. ’ ‘You need to eat before philosophy. I’ll cut all my prices in half. Let’s say it’s my contribution to the future of world philosophy. ’ I’ve said too much, they’re bored. They think I’m mad, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make the most of my generosity. As I watch them drinking their avocado and grapefruit soup I wonder whether I like them or loathe them.

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