Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Recipe For Disaster by Stephen Phelps @StephenP_Writer #BlogTour @rararesources

A RECIPE FOR DISASTER is the entertaining journey of an Englishman struggling with the ups and downs of living in rural Italy. 
After giving up a successful career in television, Stephen finds himself dragged back into a world he had happily forsaken when his neighbor, Lia, persuades him to listen to her BIG IDEA – making a TV cookery series. 
But Lia speaks no English. And Stephen’s partner, Tam, can't cook. So, much against Stephen's better judgement, the three of them set out to make a six-part cookery series in a medieval town in the rolling hills of the little-known, but spectacularly beautiful, Italian region of Le Marche. 
In the COOKUCINA TV series Lia teaches Tam to cook alla marchigiana, while Tam translates. 
A RECIPE FOR DISASTER follows their many encounters with the real Italy – a world away from summer holiday crowds in Tuscany or the Amalfi coast. As the team try to construct a professional series with no funding they come to rely on the generosity of the marchigiana people, while attempting to overcome the constant difficulties thrown up by those whose stubborn adherence to their age-old way of life is rooted in their beloved fields and woods. 
A RECIPE FOR DISASTER is a goldmine of simple yet delicious recipes, while peeling back the veneer of television professionalism and opening the door to a world of Italian surprise and delight. 
A RECIPE FOR DISASTER is best read alongside COOKUCINA, the final six-part TV series, so you can see for yourself how the team cracked their problems and (just about) held it all together in a blistering heatwave. Experience this contradictory world of vendettas and kind hearts through the laughter and frustrations of Stephen and the team, as you follow A RECIPE FOR DISASTER slowly coming to its surprising fruition.

A Recipe for Disaster is a cookbook, a travelogue and the companion to Cookucina, a six-part TV series available on Amazon Video, iTunes and Google Play - see 

A Recipe For Disaster by Stephen Phelps was published in paperback on 22 July 2017. I'm delighted to welcome the author to Random Things today as part of the Blog Tour.
Stephen Phelps tells us about the books that are special to him in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Stephen Phelps

Anything by George Bernard Shaw I didn't read much before the age of ten, and then my father said I needed to read more if I wanted to get into a good school. So I started on his set of GBS. And I enjoyed it. So by the time I went for an interview at my prospective grammar school I had read more or less the complete works of GBS and nothing else. I got in though.
100 Great Lives Which did what it said on the tin. 100 seven or eight page biographies of one hundred of the most important figures in history. Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed, Hannibal, they were all there. It taught me to appreciate the importance both of history, and of the capacity of individuals to influence it. And it opened my eyes to history beyond the Kings and Queens of England. To other worlds, separated from my own by both time and space.
Just William, by Richmal Crompton  I love the William books. She effortlessly writes stories that can be appreciated as much by the adults as by the children to whom they are reading. And without patronising either of them. Even now the world of William, Violet Elizabeth Bott and the Outlaws sometimes provides a welcome escape from the cares of the world.

The Perry Mason stories, by Earl Stanley Gardner   I first picked these up when I ran out of Shaw. These stories of crime, lawyers, and issues of justice were how I first became interested in the law. In years to come this passion would substantially shape my life as, for more than a decade, I made a living making television programmes about miscarriages of justice. And, of course, as an adolescent boy I fell madly in love with Perry's attractive-but-smart sidekick Della Street.
Notes from a Small Island, by Bill Bryson   I love, and try to emulate, Bryson's lightness of touch. He has a wonderful ability to find significance in the most humdrum of things, and to raise a lot of smiles as he does it.

Educated at Oxford University, I began working with BBC Radio, moving to BBC TV where I launched Watchdog and produced the investigative legal series Rough Justice. In Hong Kong for BBC World Service Television I oversaw the start of BBC World. I then spent twelve years running my own TV production company, Just Television, specializing in investigative programmes in the field of law, justice and policing. In particular, Trial and Error for Channel 4 which exposed and investigated major miscarriages of justice, winning the Royal Television Society’s inaugural Specialist Journalism Award in 1999. Recently I have been working as a consultant for Aljazeera English on major documentary projects. 

In 2002 I took an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Writing credits include many plays for BBC Radio, my most recent being a drama documentary for the 30th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. Books: The Tizard Mission published by Westholme Publishing in the United States, tells the extraordinary story of how Britain’s top scientists traveled in secret to America in the autumn of 1940 to give away all their wartime secrets to secure US support in WWII. A Recipe for Disaster is a book about living in Italy while trying to make a TV cookery series, Cookucina (now available on Amazon Video, Google Play and iTunes.

I have several other books and three screenplays in development.
Follow on Twitter @StephenP_Writer

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for covering A Recipe for Disaster, Anne. Fascinating to read about myself like this. I sound half-way interesting!