Sadie on a Plate
by Amanda Elliot
out March 15, 2022
ISBN:
9780593335710
★★★★★

As a devoted fan of Food Network cooking competitions, I loved this book and read it in a day.

Sadie, an accomplished chef in Seattle, has been blacklisted in the local restaurant industry, but we don't find out why until later. Her confidence and entire identity is shaken until she gets a call from Chef Supreme, a cooking reality show that is part MTV's Real World and part Next Food Network Star, about an opportunity to appear on the next season.

On the flight to New York, she meets Luke, who she immediately identifies as a fellow chef based on the scarring of his hands. They bond over the flight, talking about food and careers, and he takes her to dinner right as they land. Sparks fly, they kiss, they're obviously a great match -- but Sadie's non-disclosure agreement means she can't communicate with anyone for the next 6 weeks and can't tell them why, so they agree to meet again in 6 weeks.

And then, somewhat predictably, but still shocking to Sadie -- when she gets to the first day of filming, Luke is one of the judges.

While it's safe to call it a "romance," the real story here is Chef Sadie's journey of self-reflection as she lives in a Real World-style reality show house for six weeks, navigating friendships and learning more about herself. The romance element is sweet as they try to get to know one another while on camera and without tipping anyone else off.

Overall, a fun, satisfying, and sentimental mental vacation.

arc received for review