The Kitchen Brigade

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Laurie Boris

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Jailed for rebuffing a soldier, having lost everything when Russia ousted the US government and killed her family, a young chef thinks only of survival. When she’s forced to cook for the general occupying New York, then is asked to join the resistance, she discovers talents that might save them all.



Short Summary

Valerie—with young “sous chef” Tomas—cooks in the mess of a refugee camp after the two of them have lost everything in the war. They dream of better food and better days. While Tomas is out playing soccer, a guard tries to attack her, and she’s dragged off to jail.

Having helped the resistance defeat the Russians, and learning the handsome Russian officer she’d been working for intel is on her side—and in love with her—Valerie reunites with Tomas, who’d been kidnapped by an evil Russian guard, and opens her own restaurant in Montreal.


New York's Hudson Valley, Manhattan, various locales on the road from Toronto to South Carolina.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Valerie Kipplander

Age: 20

Gender: Female

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Gracious,Naive,Skillful,Aspiring,Flexible,Educated,Modest

Additional Character Details

Name: Svetlana

Age: 60

Gender: Female

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Badass,Charming,Complex,Decisive,Leader,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Sarcastic,Unapologetic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Four

Age: 22

Gender: Female

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Confident,Crazy,Engaging,Unapologetic,Sarcastic,Funny,Blunt,Patriotic

Additional Character Details

Name: Two (Anya)

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Insecure,Obedient,Skillful,Secretive,Manipulative,Faithful

Development Pitch

This novel will make a great movie adaptation. The story is set mainly in NY’s Hudson Valley, a venue that’s popular in production lately. It’s a leap into a future (2049) where Russia has taken advantage of a civil war to invade America and occupy the East Coast…with more nefarious plans to follow. The heart of the story is the kitchen of the Hudson Valley mansion the Russian general occupying New York calls home. Head chef Svetlana oversees a female brigade, which now includes Valerie, a culinary student plucked from a refugee camp jail. The war ripped Valerie—now Three—from her privileged life as the daughter of the US secretary of state. The general’s mansion is just another kind of prison, and guards watch their every move. The kitchen is a hotbed of intrigue as Svetlana uses her status to sneak info to resistance operatives. She wants Valerie to join them and get intel from a Russian officer with designs on the southern occupation—and Valerie. Audiences will enjoy the good-against-evil struggle, the powerful women, the kitchen drama, and the message that food and empathy can unite us, even as the world tries to divide us. There’s also a twist on the “typical” dystopian story: a happy ending. Viewers will root for the resistance and especially for Valerie. They’ll love Four, a tough, tattooed pastry chef with secrets of her own. Which characters can be trusted? Who is allied with whom? Add spies and gourmet cooking for a recipe for action and entertainment.

About The Author

Laurie Boris has been writing fiction for almost thirty years and is the award-winning author of eight novels. When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, and avoiding housework.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

I live in the Hudson Valley, where most of the story is set.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: self-published

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available