GENRE: MG - Fantasy
In SAFFRON, twelve-year-old Saffron battles master chefs in a magical culinary tournament, to protect her father’s honor, save their restaurant and win her ultimate dream—the Diamond Blade.
Saffron filleted a scorcher fish faster than a flapper cutting a rug.
Valiant, her chef's knife, sliced through the red scales with no problem.
The fillets ought to keep the staff happy. A hungry crew was a sluggish crew, and speed was key to dinner rush.
After plucking out the pin bones, Saffron laid the fillets in hot cast iron pans. The fish sizzled, salty and fresh as the sea. On the back burners, she cooked rainbow carrots in sugar and butter, so sweet and nutty.
"Time to add my special touch," she said to Valiant. "What'll the crew go peaches over?" Tuning out the kitchen noise and the ragtime song playing on the nearby phonograph, Saffron closed her eyes and pictured herself in the Diamond Blade Tournament.
The excitement of the contest surged through Saffron as she imagined rousing cheers and blazing flambés. The familiar warmth in her chest and hands began to spread to Valiant, and Saffron couldn't help but smack her lips, tasting the fireworks in her magic.
A gruff voice interrupted her spell. "Lass, mission report."
Saffron blinked away her focus to the sight of Grinder's zucchini-crooked nose. A former Royal Battalion sergeant, Grinder was the perfect sous chef, the restaurant's second in command.
Saffron snapped to attention. "Scorcher. Rainbow carrots. For the family meal, sir."
Although not as action packed as working on the line, cooking dinner for the staff was a trillion times better than dishwashing duty.
Great chefs don't do the dirties.