Guest post by Kate Belle
I’m a big fan of food and sex. They are a great combination, don’t you think? All that juicy deliciousness and sensual pleasure just go together so well. And no one does sexy food better than Nigella Lawson. She’s one of my favourite cooking celebrities and the inspiration for my character Sheba in The Banquet.
I’ve watched with fascination as Nigella’s sexy kitchen antics made the heterosexual men around me melt into a gooey mess. ‘What is it about her?’ I ask them, and their adjectives soon dissolve into oooh’s and aaahh’s and funny little grunts. Whatever it is that Nigella’s got, it’s hard to put into words.
There are many things I love about Nigella. I love that she’s not scared of fat or salt (two of my favourite additives). I love her unapologetically rubenesque figure. I love the uninhibited way she talks about and enjoys food.
When thinking about a theme for my Edible Delights story I kept returning to Nigella and her sensual relationship with food. I wondered what Nigella would serve up to a room full of beautifully dressed men with well developed palates all hungering for her, not just her menu. I imagined a feast of Roman Empire proportions: excessive, decadent, magnificent, a sensory heaven. And I imagined how those men might show their gratitude for such divine offerings, especially if the dishes were mainly aphrodisiac foods. A feast indeed!
The scene that unfolded in my imagination resembled the renaissance paintings of Ruben. A gathering of plump and sensual nudes draped over a table or each other, indulging in the various pleasures of the flesh, with Sheba at the centre of it all.
Throw into this mix a man who sees Sheba, my celebrity chef, as his saviour. Why? It is her aphrodisiac recipes that have saved him from a life of enforced celibacy. You see, James isn’t an attractive man. I liked the idea that a man cursed with bad looks might find a way to romance through food. James and Sheba are the antithesis of the perfect couple, she is gorgeous and he is not, but James is nonetheless determined to win Sheba’s favour. And what better way to do it than through her taste buds? James develops an exclusive dessert to tempt Sheba. She is intrigued and jealous and sets out to wrest the recipe from James using her many alluring talents.
‘I can be terribly persuasive.’ Sheba stuck two fingers over the top of his jeans and pulled his pelvis toward her. ‘Perhaps you’d like to come back to my hotel room and I’ll try to prise the secret out of you.’
Will James give away his prize recipe in the hope of gaining Sheba’s love? Or will he use it to gain entry into Sheba’s private world? What unfolds is a tale of culinary and sexual one-upmanship where the only one who wins is the one who can keep a secret.
About the Author - Kate Belle
Kate is an accomplished, multi-published author of dark and sensual erotic fiction. Her first full length novel, The Yearning, was published in April 2013 by Simon & Schuster to rave reviews.
Kate holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for 3 days.
Kate lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter, and a menagerie of neurotic pets.
The Banquet by Kate Belle
Unattractive and lonely James is a cook and restaurant owner obsessed with Sheba, a sexy celebrity chef famous for her aphrodisiac recipes, which have saved James from a life of involuntary celibacy. In studying Sheba’s recipes James has created the ultimate in aphrodisiac desserts, a recipe that never fails to lure women into his bed.
When Sheba appears at the Sydney Writers Festival, James takes the opportunity to meet her at her book signing and woos her with a gift of his dessert. Sheba finds James’ speciality irresistible and exchanges a night of pleasure for the recipe. But James is clever and keeps one ingredient secret, hoping Sheba will pursue him for it. Two months later James receives an invitation to Sheba’s annual banquet, a mysterious event everyone who’s anyone in the hospitality industry is aware of but knows little about. Nervous and out of his depth, James attends in the hope of repeating his one night with Sheba. But nothing can prepare him for what lies ahead as Sheba introduces him to a world where the boundaries between food, sex and one-upmanship are entirely blurred.