An award-winning cookbook author with local ties to the Dayton/Cincinnati region has put a taste of our area into her debut novel.
Judith Fertig (www.judithfertig.com) grew up in Reading just outside of Cincinnati and was the first in her family to go to college. She attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, and there studied English, graduating with a B.A. in 1972.
“I still remember how much I cherished the treat of my mom and dad coming to whisk me away and come to Dayton to have dinner at the Pine Club,” Judith says. “Though I loved my classes at Wittenberg, it was definitely a treat to get away from cafeteria food and savor an excellent meal.”
She says her time at Wittenberg taught her how to be a fast writer, and then revise deeply, and that has been a big boon to her career as a writer, especially when creating articles on tight deadlines.
Before delving into that career, however, Judith taught high school English after graduation, married, earned her M.A. in Humanities from Ohio State University in 1981 and eventually settled in Kansas City with her family.
Her love of excellent food led her to become...
“When I get a chance, I go back to the Pine Club,” Judith says. “I still see and savor it as a little piece of heaven!”
Her most recent cookbooks are “BBQ Bistro” and “Bake Happy.”
But she is extra excited to talk about her debut novel, “The Cake Therapist,” which features a talented pastry chef who moves back to her small Midwestern hometown when her personal life in New York City falls apart. There, she opens a bakery, but she also has a secret talent—“tasting” feelings in the creations she bakes for people. In other words, the story—and the protagonist—has many layers.
“My hometown was industrial,” Judith says. “It’s been fascinating to observe the changes on visits back from industrial to brown fields to reinventing itself. Now Reading is a wedding district for the area! It fascinates me to think about people and characters reinventing themselves, so it seemed perfect to set my novel in my hometown which has also reinvented itself.”
Learn more about Judith’s work, including her cookbooks, at www.judithfertig.com.