En la Roma del siglo I Apicio desea convertirse en el referente culinario de todo el Imperio y ganar fama para la posteridad. Para ello compra por una fortuna al esclavo Thrasius, a quien advierte que no coma nada que él mismo no haya preparado y que se aleje de su madre, a quien Apicio odia tanto como ella a él.
Algo asustado, Thrasius comienza a trabajar como jefe de la cocina, y asombra a su nuevo amo y a sus invitados con sus delicadas y maravillosas creaciones, hasta inspirar la escritura del primer libro de gastronomía de la Historia.
In the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, Marcus Gavius Apicius has a singular ambition: to serve as culinary adviser to Caesar. To cement his legacy as Rome’s leading epicure, the wealthy Apicius acquires a young chef, Thrasius, for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii.
Apicius believes that the talented Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with the slave’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and sumptuous meals. For his part, Thrasius finds a family among Apicius’s household, which includes his daughter, Apicata; his wife, Aelia; and her handmaiden Passia, with whom Thrasius falls passionately in love. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his dangerous single-mindedness threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome. “A gastronomical delight” (Associated Press), Feast of Sorrow is a vibrant novel, replete with love and betrayal, politics and intrigue, and sumptuous feasts that bring ancient Rome to life.