Book Cover: The Faithful, a novel by Peter W. Van Ness published by Good Job Publishing
cover by Vickie Van Ness
published by Good Job Publishing

The Faithful, a novel by Peter W. Van Ness Get an Autographed Book HERE

Food in The Faithful

Food plays a major role in the story. It's almost another character [see links to recipies & videos here]. I considered writing a cookbook since I spent a decade studying with extraordinary chefs and working my way up from diswasher in a country kitchen to executive chef in an oceanfront resort hotel. But I no longer use recipes--and I seldom make the same dish the same way twice.

I have taught many people how to cook but not by giving them recipes. Rather, I helped them learn to taste, to discover what they like, and to appreciate the magic of preparing and combining ingredients so they blend to form a new sensation that transcends their individual flavors and textures.

I can, however, recommend a few cookbooks that I rely on.

An old friend told me he relies on advice that I don't remember giving him, but it sounds good: Start with quality ingredients and don't screw it up. To that end, I encourage you to avoid chain supermarkets and shop at small, local grocery stores and farms as much as possible. They are often less expensive than chains if you buy what's in season and/or on special.

Lastly, I encourage you to grow as much food as you have room for. Gardening is not easy and every climate has its quirks. I've been blessed with plenty of help from successful gardeners. The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening helps too. Little else can compete with the thrill of eating something you've grown. After a while, you'll no longer accept the tasteless dreck you find in supermarkets.

Below are links to recipes and info on dishes referenced in the book. Page numbers are from the print edition.

Chapter Five ~ Emily
Page 62 Here's a fun video on how to make Chocolate Lava Cake Babish Culinary Universe feat. Jon Favreau and Roy Choi.
Chapter Twenty ~ The Party
Page 198 A note about foie gras: because some farms are cruel, it's gotten a bad rap. But many farmers have found humane ways to raise ducks and/or geese for foie gras. This in depth article gives examples of how it's done. If you like foie gras, you can find it humanely raised.
Page 200 Here's a pretty good capellini pomodoro video. When I make it, I cut the cherry tomatoes in half, cook them less, use a combo of parmigiano reggiano, grana, and pecorino romano. I kill the heat before adding the capellini and cheese--and I grate the cheeses finer. (I don't use a food processor.)
Page 201 Savenor's is a real shop. As portrayed in the story, they are expensive. But their food is top quality.
Chapter Twenty-One ~ The Partnership
Page 215 The French omelet offers a unique experience. This wonderful scene from the TV series The Bear provides an excellent example of how to make one.
Chapter Twenty-Four ~ Allies and Adversaries
Page 245 The Faithful takes place mostly in Massachusetts, where locals love to argue about how to make a lobster roll. This video shows two popular choices, but it will not put the debate to rest.
Chapter Twenty-Five ~ Contact
Page 256 Gordon Ramsay makes a glorious frittata in this video.
Chapter Twenty-Six ~ Camaraderie
Page 277 Gloria's (where Carl goes to get sandwiches) is a real place. If you're in Beverly, MA, check them out.
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