Sadie on a Plate is delectable, entertaining, and fast paced forbidden contemporary romance for cooking show lovers.
Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot
Publication Date : March 15th 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Romance / Contemporary
Pages : 352
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for free e-copy via NetGalley.
A chef’s journey to success leads to discovering the perfect recipe for love in this delicious romantic comedy.
Sadie is a rising star in the trendy Seattle restaurant scene. Her dream is to create unique, modern, and mouthwatering takes on traditional Jewish recipes. But after a public breakup with her boss, a famous chef, she is sure her career is over–until she lands a coveted spot on the next season of her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme.
On the plane to New York, Sadie has sizzling chemistry with her seatmate, Luke, but tells him that she won’t be able to contact him for the next six weeks. They prolong their night with a spontaneous, magical dinner before parting ways. Or so she thinks. When she turns up to set the next day, she makes a shocking discovery about who Luke is….
If Sadie wants to save her career by winning Chef Supreme, she’s going to have to ignore the simmering heat between her and Luke. But how long can she do that before the pot boils over?
Sadie on a Plate is fun and delightful contemporary romance that revolves around Sadie taking part in a cooking show and regains her confidence, friendship, and love by the end. The story is about food (be prepared to read with full stomach), Jewish representation, friendship, passion, love, and struggle of women in food industry.
Writing is engaging, flavourful, and entertaining. The story is written in first person narrative from Sadie’s perspective. Her voice is fun and witty that making story more entertaining. The setting of New York and cooking competition kitchen adds its own charm.
The plot is great. I enjoyed the beginning of the story introducing Sadie, how her boss firing her over a message, five weeks ago, affected her confidence and her dream to open her own restaurant. When she gets email about getting a spot on the next season of her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme, it provide opportunity she needed to make her dream come true. On plane to New York, she meets a handsome, lovely, half Korean chef with whom she feels an instant connection but she can’t talk about Chef Supreme because of contract and cannot meet or talk for next six weeks, but when the same person turns out to be one of the judges of the show, it raises another problem as, “Judges and contestants aren’t supposed to fraternize.” It was fun to see if Sadie wins the show or not, will she get sponsors to open her restaurants or all the dreams will be squashed by her feelings for the Judge.
Like all cooking shows you have watched on TV you can expect drama, bickering, fights and disagreements, the villain of the show and favorite chef of the show but above all there is forbidden romance between a contestant and the judge. 12 contestants, 3 judges make interesting cast of characters. I binge read this book and finished in a single day.
Sadie is great throughout the book. She is talented, passionate chef who worked hard to achieve her dream. I felt sad for her when she lost her job and her dream and confidence. She felt vulnerable and wasn’t comfortable talking about what happened but I liked she grabbed opportunity to be part of her favorite show, took it as a climbing ladder and refused to look back. I enjoyed how slowly she regained her confidence, realized she was letting that one person and one incident rattle her head, and learned to get over her insecurities. Along with that she mended her relationship with her old colleague who was also participant in show. I liked how this show not just became important for her career growth but also personal growth.
Luke was lovely in the beginning but the way he rejected Sadie on the first day of show, made me rethink about him along with Sadie. I figured quicker than Sadie which side of him was true. He is fantastic judge and person who wasn’t comfortable with camera on him. We also see daddy issues here. His father isn’t likable person who is food snob and was forcing his own beliefs and dream on him and Luke, who feels helpless going against him and open his dream restaurant that represents his Korean culture and roots. I liked how being with Sadie gives him support and courage to stand up against his father and do something he loves and is passionate about.
I enjoyed secondary characters, especially those 11 contestants (not Including Sadie here) and some of them learned and grew along with Sadie. 4 Joes and how they were nicknamed by other contestants made me laugh. There is Nia who is all about statistics, measures, and recipe follower who learned to cook from heart. I also liked Kaitlyn. At first, I believed Sadie and thought she was plasticky and selfish, might create trouble for her but I was surprised how different she turned out. I enjoyed how Sadie mended things with her and how supportive they became. There is Kel who is gender neutral and preferred to be called they/them and was great chef, and there is Megan who is lesbian. It’s a lovely diverse group and made me smile reading about them.
The best part is how cooking industry is represented and also the cooking show. We see the struggle of women in industry that believed women are cooks and men are chefs, made women work harder, and looked down on them. We also see how contestants were playing media to stay longer on show, not just thinking about what they cooked but how they behaved and looked on camera that producers will approve and audience will love. I also liked another angle of it showing the discomfort of camera on them all the time and how exhausting it was for characters to be part of the show. I also loved how this show was about representing contestants’ particular type of food which is another best part with so many types of cuisines included.
I don’t know much about Jewish culture, I only read it in books but I never read any book that represented Jewish food and that too so well. There is also Korean cuisine, Appalachian, Japanese, Californian, Filipino, and eclectic cuisine. I was googling all dishes as soon as I read about them. Author has written all the food descriptions and how characters made them fabulously. It was mouthwatering to read all the dishes even though I’m little hesitant when it comes to trying new food.
Romance is okay, not bad but I just wish there was more romance. Readers who prefer less romance, more plot and character will love it but romance readers won’t be happy with that lovely beginning giving promise of forbidden romance but then plot and cooking show taking over for most of the book. There are scenes between Sadie and Luke, it sure builds understanding between them, they get to know each other more but true romance came after climax.
Climax is predictable but interesting. I was expecting Sadie’s past coming back. It was interesting to know what exactly happened and how it will affect her position in show, who would support her and what she will do next. There is a lot happened after this and yet it never felt rushed. It was great to see how much Sadie grew and of course I was expecting her to do something stupid but I liked the way things were wrapped up. I loved author kept the end realistic, uplifting and feel good.
Why 4 stars-
Like I said I wanted more romance in the book.
Overall, Sadie on a Plate is delectable, hearwarming, dramatic, entertaining, and fast paced forbidden contemporary romance that food lovers wouldn’t want to miss.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Fast paced gripping plot
Drama and entertainment
Different types of food
Jewish female character
Forbidden romance (between contestant and judge)
Adult book for young audience (there is just a kiss, no sex)
Flirting through food
Less romance more plot and characters
New York setting
Amanda Elliot is the author of several young adult and middle grade books as Amanda Panitch. Sadie on a Plate is her first adult novel. She lives in New York City, where she owns way too many cookbooks for her tiny kitchen. Learn more online at amandapanitch.com.
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