Date: 03 Sep 2013 08:45 Title: Chapter 1
For a while there I was beginning to seriously question the notion of a Caitian trying his ... uh ... paws at cooking human food.
But then, of course, we would have been robbed of an incredible delightful little story of all the things that can go wrong in a kitchen. And there are oh so many things that can go wrong, as we find out.
I was pretty impressed with Naurr's persistence as well. Most would probably have given up after yet another failed attempt to create a meal suitable for the human palate. But incredibly, both Chef Naurr and this surprisingly bold crew stuck with it until the end. And the results were well worth it.
A delectable story with a sad little twist at the end which, however, does not sour too much the fun we've had with it. Sour. See what I did there?
Author's Response: Yes, I did. ;) Clever you. And thank you, I'm really glad you liked it!
Date: 01 Sep 2013 10:52 Title: Chapter 1
This was awesome. Right from the very start, I was cringing along with the Captain and crew when Naurr was cooking for the first time. I'm sure he was an excellent cook on Cait, but perhaps he shouldn't have jumped so readily at the idea of cooking for a new race that he didn't know very well. "Cooking meat? What is this crap?" Very great, very real reactions that just added even more to the comedy.
And if anyone from this planet was going to teach someone how to cook, of course it would be a good ol' cajun boy. I think most people on this planet can agree - there is no finer food and flavor on this planet.
And I loved that it wasn't a quick "hey, here's how you do it," and then BAM he's Emeril. He made a bunch more mistakes as he kept learning. I mean...wow...a CUP of hot sauce, versus a teaspoon?! I about died laughing with Philippe; how many of us have made similar mistakes (though not NEARLY to that extreme...or, I dunno, maybe to that extreme?) when cooking? So great. And then the mini-lobsters scene. And the extra-rummy dessert. So many mistakes that just about every aspiring cook has made at least once or twice in their lifetime.
I definitely saw the friendship that grew between the two men, and was definitely just as heartbroken as Naurr when Philippe had to leave the crew. I had been hoping the two would maybe meet later on but...of course...
Can I just say, for the record, that it wouldn't be Ad Astra if we all didn't pull the rug out from readers at the last possible minute and throw our emotions into a spiral? The dedication that you ended the piece on was very sad, but just further cemented the fact that these two men hadn't just grown as cooks but as friends, brothers even.
Really loved it. I thought you did an awesome job.
Author's Response: Aw, thank you! Bill gave me the detailed timeline and the vanishing of the Ariane, and I loved the concept of Naurr, but had to account for the fact he would be lost on the ship when she went missing. Thus, Philippe's dedication. I'm really glad you liked it, and Bill did a great job setting it up.
Date: 31 Aug 2013 17:14 Title: Chapter 1
You know I adore chefs. And I love Naurr's screw-ups, which are very understandable. What strange habits we must have!
Plus of course I humbly thank you for the shout-out. I'll figure out how to make the two dishes (thanks for adding to Lili's repertoire!).
And I loved the interplay among Naurr, Philippe and the captain. A few hijinks and a lot of heart.
Author's Response: I figured Lili would take pity when written to and send some recipes and detailed instructions along because she's awesome like that. Thanks so much, Bill did a great job on that free write leaving lots of inspiration.
Date: 31 Aug 2013 12:18 Title: Chapter 1
A very large round of enthusiastic applause for that excellent piece.
Well you said that it would be “kind of sweet, mostly humor, with a bit of a heartache ending.” And you delivered on all three scores.
As for the Antarian miniature lobsters scene, you’ve re-worked one of your favourite scenes and, to me at least it‘s, fresh again an instant classic.
Very spicy Gumbo, with a half a cup of hot sauce, such an easy mistake for any alien to make but I’m sure the crew didn’t forget it in a hurry. I can only marvel at the quality of your creativity.
The Caitian Cajun Cookbook had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion and then the final dedication piece for the actual cookbook, to wrap the story up with beautiful poignantly.
An excellent piece of work and despite the heartbreaking end, I’m grinning ear to ear after reading this.
Author's Response: Should the ship ever reappear, maybe Naurr will find out he has become famous on Cait. XD I'm really glad you liked it, and really glad that you wrote the free write that inspired it.