The sudden disappearance of fifteen-year-old Neil Flambé’s skills as a world-class chef leads to the closing of his restaurant, a cook-off to save his reputation, and the discovery of a dark curse that has plagued Flambé cooks for centuries.
Ten-year-old Pierre dreams of being a chef at his parents’ restaurant, La Bonne Vache, in the south of France and is told he is too young, but when an important guest comes Pierre sees a chance to prove himself. Includes notes about dining in France and a glossary.
Fresh off his success in solving the Marco Polo murders, Neil FlambÉ heads to Mexico City to take part in the Azteca Cocina — a two-week battle of the chefs. But things start to go wrong at the very first battle: Neil’s box of secret ingredients contains a note inside, telling him that Isabella has been kidnapped. He must lose in the final, or else she’ll be killed! To save Isabella, Neil will need Larry’s knowledge of Mexican history and Spanish, Sean Nakamura’s portable forensic lab, and Angel Jicama’s mentorship. He’ll have to delve into Aztec history, symbolism, and even into the real ruins that are buried under the modern city.