When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate - properties, money, and position - to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes with strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi's dire warning that the information in those boxes could put his life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle's secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi's journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder - all to protect an illicit love affair. With luscious prose, The Chef's Secret serves up power, intrigue and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life.