*Now Available in Paperback*
My Life from Scratch
A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a time
By Gesine Bullock-Prado
Previously titled Confections of a Closet Master Baker
“In this terrifically lively account chockfull of elegant, Old World recipes, Bullock-Prado . . . [in] subtly compelling prose . . . conveys her touching sense of responsibility for the ‘emotional needs of [her] patrons,’ and offers mouthwatering recipes.”
Gesine Bullock-Prado was born to eat sweets. Sugar-obsessed, she was the kid who lived, schemed, and debauched for a sweet treat. And over the course of her life, sugar and butter would combine to forge a strong bond between mother and daughter, relieve the misery of life in Hollywood, soothe the heartbreak caused by her mom’s death, and provide the spark to find joy as a small-town baker.
Chronicling her lifelong obsession, Gesine tells her story by following one day in her busy baker’s life, from rolling her flour-logged body out of bed at three thirty a.m. until closing the shop at four p.m. in her memoir MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH (Broadway Books; On-Sale June 8, 2010; $14.00 Trade Paperback). Complete with nineteen perfectly sweetened recipes for exquisitely crafted treats, Gesine shows how she rebuilt her life from scratch one cake at a time.
Once a high-powered Hollywood executive at the helm of her sister’s production company, Gesine, by all outward measures, had it all—money, the ear of influential studio heads, and stylishly tailored designer suits. Yet she was miserable. As just another Hollywood cog she dealt with an endless parade of bleached smiles and spray-on tans. To assuage her growing discontent, Gesine turned on her oven and her creativity and baked.
With every sugary, buttery, delicious confection to emerge from her oven, she realized that pastry was fueling her sugar-laced soul and leading her to a more fulfilling job and life. Baking was her true destiny. Soon, she and her husband left glittery, star-studded Hollywood and headed to the hippie-filled, rural town of Montpelier, Vermont. There, in the smallest state capital in America, they opened a bakery, Gesine Confectionary.
Behind every pastry, cake, and tart that leaves Gesine’s pastry shop is a rich heritage, a funny tale, or a life lesson. The espresso cheesecake finds its roots with Gesine’s grandmother and World War II. The Devil’s Cream Pie is an ode to Oreos and a young girl’s sugar high. And Helga’s cake—an amazing confection—is named for Gesine’s mother, a professional opera singer and health-food nut. Also an extraordinary cook and baker, Helga broke out her pastry skills for special occasions and worked magic. Her influence on Gesine and the confectionary is unmistakable. The bond between family and friends, along with reflections from Gesine’s part-European childhood, produces a rich, tasty base on which Gesine’s story is layered.
Told in Gesine’s unique voice, MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH is a sweet indulgence. From machine parts in the pastry to customers painting their foreheads, Gesine takes her readers on a sweet, chocolate-covered journey including:
? Eccentric Characters—Montpelier, nicknamed Montpeculiar, has its share of unconventional individuals. Many have found their way into Gesine Confectionary or crossed Gesine’s path. Nudists, vegans, crank callers, customers who want their pastries cut into eighths, and leering old men are among the shop’s colorful clientele Throw in a plethora of ever-changing dishwashers and the result is pure laughter.
? Hollywood—Ceaselessly funny renditions of Hollywood nonsense offer glimpses into boring lunch meetings, opportunistic agents, and movie premieres. Mingling with the “entitled set,” Gesine networked and attended screenings and after-parties. Now, she regales us with stories told with her charmingly sarcastic wit.
? Baking—Beautifully detailed descriptions of Gesine’s baking processes show the emotions behind each turn of dough. Heavily invested in every pastry that leaves her bakery, Gesine takes a personal interest in her customers. A self-described curmudgeon, baking is her way of reaching out and embracing others—the equivalent of a hug.
? Recipes—Nineteen recipes fill the pages of MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH. From German confections passed down generation to generation to meringues and sticky buns, these treats satisfy any sweet tooth and are enriched with personal history and suggestions.
The ingredients of MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH combine to create a hilarious but poignant treat that will appeal to anyone who has ever considered leaving the life they know and completely starting over.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Washington, D.C., Gesine Bullock-Prado spent her early years in Germany and Austria, moving back to the United States at the age of five. Her delicious confections have been featured on the Food Network’s hottest new show, Road Tasted with the Neelys and in such publications as In Style, People, Vermont Life and Boston Common magazine.
ABOUT THE BOOK:MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a Time By Gesine Bullock-Prado Broadway Books • Trade Paperback • ISBN: 978-0-7679-3273-8 • $14.00 On sale June 8, 2010
To schedule your interview with Gesine Bullock-Prado, please contact Emily Lyman in the Broadway Books publicity department at (212)782.8351 or ELyman@randomhouse.com