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About the Author



     Novelist and cookbook author Judith Fertig grew up in the Midwest, went to cooking school in London and Paris, and now lives in the Kansas City area. Described by Saveur Magazine as a "heartland cookbook icon," Fertig debuts a new novel that engage the mind, the heart, and all five senses—and celebrates cookbooks that reflect her love of bread, baking, barbecue, and the fabulous foods of the Heartland. 


     Novels you can read like cookbooks.  Cookbooks you can read like novels. That’s what you get when an English major studies at École de Cuisine La Varenne (formerly in Paris) and The Cordon Bleu in London plus The Iowa Writers Workshop. Fertig often weaves storytelling into her books.


     The Cake Therapist (Berkley/Penguin, 2015), Fertig’s new novel, features Claire “Neely” Davis, a talented pastry chef who tries to push the restart button by opening her dream bakery after heartbreak in New York. Her blue collar hometown has startlingly reinvented itself as a chic bridal district, but it’s still a place layered with generations of secrets. Neely’s unusual gift—she can “taste” feelings that link to someone’s story—takes her down a dark path told in alternating flashback chapters. As an unofficial cake therapist, Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Finding the hidden message in a haunting flavor might be just what she needs to help herself.


     Bake Happy (Running Press, 2015) offers dessert recipes full of color, flavor, and fun that can do what Neely does for her fictional clients—help you feel creative, luxurious, empowered, connected, satisfied, and, well, happy,  in 100 different ways. (For a little sample, check out Fertig’s Bake Happy board on Pinterest.)


     Coming home. In Heartland:  The Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, 2011) and  Prairie Home Cooking (Harvard Common Press, 2000), which was nominated for James Beard and IACP cookbook awards, Fertig celebrates the place she calls home in recipes and stories. 


     Constant cravings.  Fertig’s delightful I Love Cinnamon Rolls! (Andrews McMeel, 2012), 500 Cupcakes (Sellers Publishing, 2011), and award-winning The Back in the Swing Cookbook (Andrews McMeel 2012) make you want to lick the page.


     Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. It’s not every author who spends part of her working life in a real rhinestone tiara—as one of Kansas City’s BBQ Queens. With co-author Karen Adler, Fertig has written eight barbecue books, including their Patio Pizzeria (Running Press, 2013) The Gardener and the Grill (Running Press, 2012), in bookstores around the country as well as Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, Lowe’s, and Costco. She has a Ph.B. (Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy) from the prestigious, if fictitious, Greasehouse University.


     Read all about it. Fertig’s food and lifestyle writing has appeared in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Natural Awakenings, Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Country Living, Cooking Pleasures, Family Fun, Coastal Living, Southern Living, La Vie Claire, Spaces Magazine, and Cooking Light. Her work has appeared internationally in Country Homes and Interiors (London), The New York Times, and The London Sunday Times.


     Fertig has appeared on the Food Network and many TV and radio stations. She gives talks across the country, blogs, tweets, and posts on Facebook. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, The Kansas City Barbeque Society, The Kansas City Novel Group, and IACP. 

For a Downloadable Press Kit, contact Judith Fertig

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