A Taste of Darkness
Sarena and Sasha Nanua
For seventeen-year-old Indian-American Tessa Gill, Bite Size—an international culinary competition for teens—is the opportunity of a lifetime. Even after the closure of her late grandfather’s restaurant, Tessa continues to embrace his passion for food. Now she’ll have the chance to compete at the Hark Culinary Institute—the same place she would often visit with her grandfather as a child. The prize: one million dollars and a culinary scholarship Tessa could never otherwise afford.
With her family rooting for her in their meagre bungalow, Tessa is determined to win. But when she arrives, she realizes that several competitors have been professionally trained in the culinary arts their whole lives; and, like Tessa, they will do anything to win. Each day at the institute brings a new discovery: a competitor with an explosive family secret; budding relationship rumours; and most surprising of all, letters tucked deep inside the institute, addressed to Tessa herself—from her late grandfather.
Now Tessa must uncover a part of her grandfather’s past she’s never known, while balancing the elite competition and the even fiercer competitors. But Tessa has no room for error. And if she loses, her only chance at becoming a real chef, and changing her family’s future, will be lost.
A TASTE OF DARKNESS, inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Food Network’s Chopped, is a YA mystery complete at 67,000 words. We are twin sisters who are currently studying English at the University of Toronto. We are also the authors of the self-published series The Pendant Trilogy and blog about YA and MG books at The Writing Duo. We both identify as Punjabi (Sikh).