Jakob’s grandmother, a cook in the service of a duke, filled his head with stories of distant lands that yield exotic, flavorful ingredients. But when she died in a terrible accident, Jakob’s hopes of becoming a chef were thwarted—until one day Master Christof gives Jakob the opportunity of his dreams: to travel the world in search of precious and tantalizing spices.
From the kitchens of Italian merchants to the palace in Constantinople to the royal court of France, Jakob discovers fine tastes and textures gathered from every corner of the Old and New Worlds. On his journey he finds love with Bianca, the beautiful daughter of a merchant. When the two are separated by pride and misunderstanding, Jakob continues his quest alone. But as his mastery grows and his dreams are realized, will his lonely heart also be sated?