Kitchens of the Great Midwest

  • by J. Ryan Stradal
  • Narrated by Amy Ryan, Michael Stuhlbarg
  • 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Kitchens of the Great Midwest, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country's most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer's most hotly-anticipated debut.
When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine - and a dashing sommelier - he's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter - starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience.
Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal's startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life - its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.


Audible Editor Reviews

"[Kitchens of the Great Midwest is] the first novel about the emergence and current state of foodie culture...Fundamentally, [it's] about what happens when opposing personalities coexist...." (Book Forum)


What the Critics Say

"Ryan and Stuhlbarg shine as they use subtle pacing and tone to portray the unique personalities of each character, adding just the slightest hints of a Midwestern accent to give authenticity and differentiation. Stradal's skillful writing delivered by accomplished narrators offers listeners a debut performance to savor." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So satisfying

It was a great experience. The story is quite clever, and all of its parts fit together so satisfyingly. The Story went a little over the top, at times, but in this scheme, it was somehow ok. Having spent some time in the Twin Cities, and having grown up in Wisconsin, I loved the regional familiarity. I loved the narrators dialect, and I especially love bars.
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- Laura Schnoor

Good story

I found this a very interesting story. Kept my attention. Found I needed to listen carefully as the characters from each chapters intertwined and where some meet in the last chapter of the book. The narration was very good and the main character Eva was strong and I found you became vested in the characters. All in all, I really enjoyed.
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- Jeanette

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-28-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio