Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Interview with Mark Spivak, FRIEND OF THE DEVIL

 
Can you describe your dream home?
I’ve always had my eye on one particular house on top of Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley. I won’t tell you who it belongs to, in order to protect his privacy, but the setting is magnificent. The house itself is very nice---not palatial, but designed in a gently sprawling way that blends into the landscape, provides comfort for the resident and ample space for guests.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
If I really liked you, we’d start with caviar. One of the courses would be an eggplant mousse that I first had in a wine bar in Provence, and later recreated the recipe for. I’d probably grill some fish and lobster tails eventually, and all of it would be accompanied by some killer Chablis.

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
I recently heard from a gentleman I profiled in my second book, Moonshine Nation. A large chunk of the profile consisted of stories told by his two uncles, who were former moonshiners in Kentucky. In the letter he informed me that the older of his two uncles had passed on, but that the portrait of him in the book had the highlight of his final years.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
I’ve always wanted to go to Asia and have never gotten around to it, so I’d say probably Japan and definitely Hong Kong. I don’t have a book idea yet for those locales, but I’d find one if the publisher was paying.

Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
A very good friend of mine, who owns a marketing and public relations firm, offered to have one of her designers do the cover. It was a very gracious offer, and I took her up on it.



BLURB:

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, cut a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

Amazon author page URL           

Barnes and Noble Author URL

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.


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