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Kitchens of the Great Midwest - J. Ryan Stradal - <span class="date-display-single">10/14/2015 - 6:30pm</span>

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

10/14/2015 - 6:30pm

This summer, meet the world’s greatest chef of Midwestern cuisine, Eva Thorvald, in the hugely anticipated debut novel by J. Ryan Stradal, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Reminiscent in style and structure of Olive Kitteridge, Stradal delivers the touching and hilarious story of Eva Thorvald’s triumph over a difficult childhood to become the woman with a once-in-a-generation palate behind the most sought-after dinner reservation in the country.
Cynthia Thorvald falls in love with a fellow sommelier and out of love with family life, leaving behind newborn daughter Eva and a devastated husband, Lars. But Lars is a determined father, and instills his passion for food in the infant Eva, feeding her the finest produce and a carefully planned menu including pureed pork shoulder and osso buco. As Eva grows, and her family is torn apart, she finds solace in food and the friendship of her two cousins, Braque and Randy, and eventually becomes a globally renowned chef, famous for her legendarily opulent pop-up dinners. Told in chapters—one for each of the most influential ingredients in her life—Kitchens of the Great Midwest weaves together the perspectives of eight people in Eva Thorvald’s orbit with the bake-offs, eating contests and potluck dinners that shaped her story of pain, spirit, and resilience.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest brings readers right to the heart of Minnesota, from Lutheran church bake sales to the opening weekend of deer season, and shares an incredible tale of how the food we eat and the people we meet shape the world around us. 

J. Ryan Stradal

About Presenter J. Ryan Stradal


J. Ryan Stradal edits the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown with Gina Frangello, writes regularly for The Rumpus, and has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney’s and Hobart, among others. He produces a culinary reading series in Los Angeles called Hot Dish. 


Kitchens of the Great Midwest

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