Sadie on a Plate

Berkley. Mar. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593335710. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In Elliot’s first adult romance (after several YA novels under the name Amanda Panitch) Seattle chef Sadie has just been dumped/fired by her boyfriend/boss in spectacularly degrading public fashion. Dreams shattered, Sadie’s at her lowest point, until she’s invited to join Chef Supreme, a TV cooking competition. She’s got an NDA until the show airs, so when she sits next to a handsome man on the plane to New York, they talk of everything except the reasons for their travel. They even share a blisteringly hot kiss before parting ways. Things are looking up for Sadie, but then she learns Luke is the new judge on Chef Supreme. Can they keep their attraction secret and on hold, or will Sadie get kicked off the show for fraternizing with a judge? Luke and Sadie are likable characters with magnetic, slow-building chemistry and sympathetic, realistic backstories. The fast-paced, delicious plot is as much about food as romance; the protagonists dream of cooking the cuisines of their heritage in mainstream restaurants (Ashkenazi Jewish for Sadie; Korean for Luke); secondary characters discuss culinary influences and food fusions; and meals are described in mouth-watering detail. Subplots about sexual harassment and women in the restaurant industry add relevance and depth.
VERDICT Readers, especially those who enjoy shows like Top Chef, won’t be able to put down this fast-paced romantic comedy. Fans of Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall will also clamor for this title.
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