We’re getting personal with author Robbie Terman
Robbie Terman: Thank you! I had so much fun writing Ty and Ashton’s story, and it didn’t hurt that I had to “research” food! I probably gained ten pounds while writing this book, but it was worth it. I’m so excited to be sharing this story with readers.
EP: So we wanna know, who came first? Ty or Ashton? And how did their story “come to you”… if you don’t mind sharing.
RT: Ashton came first. I’ve been a fan (the word “rabid” has been bandied about) of cooking shows for years, especially Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef, and I’ve often wondered what compels a chef to compete. Some are clearly in it for the fame, but others seem out of their element in front of a camera. Ashton developed as I pondered reasons why anyone would risk their reputations (and sanity!) on a reality show. Since there is only one reality show I could ever see myself on (Wipeout – don’t ask, I can’t explain why), I could only imagine money as the main motivating factor. Ashton is in desperate financial straits – her restaurant is about to go bankrupt, and if that happens, she’ll lose her life savings, as well as the money of her partners (and best friends) Jenna and Chloe. But she is the absolute worst candidate to compete on a show where her food is judged! Growing up with a famous food-critic father, Ashton has developed an anger management issue when someone disagrees with her – especially about the way she cooks. So what better man to challenge her than the head judge of the cooking show, Ty. Of course, judges dating contestants is strictly forbidden, so Ty and Ashton try to stay away from each other (and are spectacularly unsuccessful!).
EP: Your book centers around a cooking show competition and the plot is fueled by the heroine’s secret crush on the celebrity chef Ty. Have you got a secret crush? Who do you think is the cutest chef out there right now?
RT: I absolutely have a crush that’s not so secret! The object of my celebrity crush is Tom Colicchio from Top Chef! I’m not going to lie – when I came up with the idea of Ty, Tom was in my head. I imagine a lot of the contestants on Top Chef have the same fantasies about Tom as Ashton has about Ty (whip cream and dry rub, anyone?). Years ago, my friend Katie made me this great picture, which served as inspiration while I was writing this book.
EP: Mine is Gordon Ramsey. I don’t quite understand why, but man oh man, that Britt lights my fire! So back to you. LOL What’s better? A homecooked meal or an evening at the new “it” restaurant?
RT: I grew up eating in restaurants. My parents didn’t cook, so we ate out 360 days a year (the other five times we wished we’d eaten out). So, for me, eating out is like home cooking. For a while, though, I grew bored with restaurants and learned to cook by watching The Food Network. That’s probably why I didn’t just cook, I made tablescapes (inspired by Sandra Lee) and dressed up in costumes to go with my themes (that idea was all me!). I also started doing Iron Chef nights where I’d pick an ingredient and use it in five courses. But after a few years, I wanted someone to cook for me instead of the other way around. So, I’m pretty much back to restaurants. As my mother says, if you eat in the county you live in, it’s just like eating at home.
EP: So then what’s your go-to recipe? That one dish we absolutely crave and cook often.
RT: There’s one recipe for baked chicken nuggets that I probably make at least two-three times a month. If anyone is like me and craves fried foods (and wants to trick their body into thinking they are eating something fried) these are fantastic. They’re not glamorous, but they are delicious (fyi – the recipe can be found on www.skinnytaste.com). If I have a lot of time to cook, or I’m having guests, I go for Beef Stew. I have the best recipe from my elementary school PTA cookbook that never fails to wow a crowd.
EP: I crave the fried stuff too. I am totally going to try your nuggets recipe. In your book the heroine Ashton owns a restaurant with her two best friends and I have to say by the end of the book I really wanted to know both their stories! Do you see that happening?
RT: Some of my favorite scenes of the book were between Ashton, Jenna, and Chloe. The three characters couldn’t be more different – Ashton is fiery and hotheaded, Chloe is the romantic who believes in fairy tale endings, and Jenna is the pragmatist with the shield over her heart – but they are fiercely loyal and protective of each other. You will definitely be seeing more of Chloe and Jenna. I couldn’t leave them without their happy endings! Chloe is up next, when she comes across a frog who might actually be her Prince Charming.
EP: Thanks for sharing with us Robbie! We hop you’ll download Some Like it Spicy to your ereader today.
Ashton Grey’s restaurant, Sweet Home, is in trouble. Months of empty tables have left her and her partners near bankruptcy, and her father’s prediction of her failure as a chef seems imminent. But a chance encounter could provide Ashton with the publicity she needs to save her restaurant—if the fiery chef is willing to compete on a reality cooking show. But in order to win, she needs to stay focused. No problem…until she meets the head judge.
Celebrity chef Ty Cates is ready to get away from the camera and back to the kitchen where he belongs. Performing as head judge on a reality show is just one more commitment he’d like to get out of, especially after he meets Ashton. Head judges dating contestants is about as taboo as putting ketchup on filet mignon, but from the moment they meet, there’s a simmering heat between them that neither can ignore.
As the competition heats up, they rely on sneaking around, stealing amazing night after amazing night together when the cameras aren’t rolling. When both realize what’s starting to feel like love could easily be a recipe for disaster, Ashton and Ty need to make a choice—get out of the kitchen or turn up the heat.