In this post from veteran author Suzanne Corso, she discusses the role food has played in the writing of her three novels, Brooklyn Story, The Suite Life, and Hello, Hollywood, on sale May 18th. Don’t miss Hello, Hollywood!
Brooklyn has always been home to me. I remember all the smells, the streets, the people, and, of course, the crimes back in the day. But the most enticing memory to me is the feast on 18th Avenue in the heart of Bensonhurst where I grew up. It was a place that provided Italian savory foods that encompassed who I was as an Italian American growing up on those streets of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in the early 80’s. You are what you eat! Eventually this memory and the place itself would become the backdrop for my first novel Brooklyn Story.
It’s funny: I remember my boyfriend at the time would head out to do some family business – or as I like to call it, break some legs! And when he was done, he’d come pick me up and out to dinner we would go at Ponte Vecchio’s. Unbeknownst to me, some poor bastard had gotten beat up for something, and here we were about to feast on some wonderful homemade pasta and sauce and fried fish and zucchini flowers. What was it with these Italian men and their need for food after every score or hit? I really lived in a Goodfella movie, including all the meats and sausages. Interesting and psychotic, but all in all that’s where we came from. It was our home. It’s funny how food corresponds with actions.
Then my second book, The Suite Life, was set on Wall Street, another setting where food and wine and sex all share a bed! We’d grab a steak at Bobby Van’s or get a drink at PJ Clarke’s. Thank God I’m now at my last book in Samantha Bonti’s trilogy; Hello Hollywood. In Hollywood, you can imagine that they don’t eat that much. Unless you count a green juice as eating! I much prefer a pepper and egg frittata draped with Ricotta Salada cheese, like from The Ivy – love their organic eggs. It just tastes better. I mean really, who does it bother?!