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Test Kitchen

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472158253

Price: £20

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Test Kitchen is phenomenal – a mad, magical, ten-course feast of a novel, gorgeously written, totally original, packed with ideas and invention. Incredibly ambitious too – so many characters, so many stories, all of it choreographed so expertly. I have no idea how Neil Stewart did it, even after reading it twice. It deserves to be a massive success. Three Michelin stars’ Paul Murray, author of The Bee Sting

‘An amazing novel . . . Veering from humorous to horrifying, Test Kitchen shows real insight into the mildly unhinged nature of both high-end restaurants and their diners – with wit, lyricism and a killer turn of phrase’ Marina O’Loughlin

‘A gorgeous tasting menu of a novel, a glittering mystery as sharp as a paring knife and as artfully constructed as its fictional restaurant’ Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

Welcome to a Tuesday night at London restaurant Midgard. The kitchen is buzzing. The tables are set. And the staff and guests take their place.

…The maître d’ caught up in a conspiracy…
…The precocious young foodie with an axe to grind…
…The nervous new sous chef…
…The anonymous influential food critic…
…The patisserie chef stalked by her ex-lover…
…The wayward son of a dangerous family…
…The enigmatic head chef with the past she won’t discuss…
…The lone diner with the terrible wound to his face…

Watching everything from her hidden vantage is Marley, the restaurant’s newest waitress. She alone knows bad things are about to unfold – but she is powerless to intervene.

Tonight, everyone has a story. Is it too late to change how this one ends?

Tense and moreish, Test Kitchen is a darkly funny and often macabre story about the culture of food, of dining and eating, about feeding and nourishing, about mothers, mortality and magic.

Reviews

Test Kitchen is phenomenal - a mad, magical, ten-course feast of a novel, gorgeously written, totally original, packed with ideas and invention. Incredibly ambitious too - so many characters, so many stories, all of it choreographed so expertly. I have no idea how Neil Stewart did it, even after reading it twice. It deserves to be a massive success. Three Michelin stars
Paul Murray, author of The Bee Sting
Test Kitchen vibrates with the tension of a high-end restaurant and the convergence of many seething, heartbreaking, fascinating past lives. But it vibrates with something more ineffable too - something extraordinary, and new. I did not want this book to end. And when it did, I was bereft
Lara Haworth, author of Monumenta
TEST KITCHEN offers a necklace of short stories strung on the golden thread of a novel. The book is full of twists that will leave you winded. It is a thriller, a meticulously painted picture of the world of high-end dining, a portrait of different kinds of damage, a deeply felt story of what people begin as and what they become. It is, in short, a wild wild ride.
Neel Mukherjee
If you have binged The Bear and want the literary equivalent, we have the book for you ... Stewart's vivid descriptions and sharp prose bring this story to life, with many twists and a dark humorous look at the culture of food, mortality wrapped in a mystery
Glamour 'Best Books of July'
Unfurls with tremendous speed and energy, recreating the tense, thrilling atmosphere of the fine-dining restaurant world with aplomb . . . Stewart's blend of literary prose with the trappings of genre fiction shows a writer with great range. This ingenuity and flair are most noticeable in the depth of the characters' backstories, which are by turns depraved, hilarious and deeply moving
Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times
Stewart's pitch black humour often takes a delighted lurch into the macabre - he captures the high pressure and utter farce of high-end dining perfectly and his wicked pen sketches of his characters are totally moreish
Siobhan Murphy, The Times
Test Kitchen is an amazing novel that hovers somewhere between the fantastical and gritty reality. Veering from humorous to horrifying, it shows real insight into the mildly unhinged nature of both high-end restaurants and their diners - with wit, lyricism and a killer turn of phrase
Marina O'Loughlin
A gorgeous tasting menu of a novel, a glittering mystery as sharp as a paring knife and as artfully constructed as its fictional restaurant. Like the best fine dining experience, Test Kitchen is beautiful, satisfying and ultimately surprising
Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls
Test Kitchen vibrates with the tension of a high-end restaurant and the convergence of many seething, heartbreaking, fascinating past lives. But it vibrates with something more ineffable too - something extraordinary, and new. I did not want this book to end. And when it did, I was bereft
Lara Haworth, author of Monumenta