Cover Image: Sadie on a Plate

Sadie on a Plate

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Member Reviews

If you are a fan of Top Chef and romance, this is a must-read for you! Sadie On a Plate by Amanda Elliot was not at all what I was expecting and after having read the book, I can't figure out why when I started it I kept wondering what I was getting myself into. Sadie has just been fired and she's feeling practically unemployable. Down on her luck, she starts wondering what she can do next. Will she have to move to another state? Change careers? Name change? When Sadie is offered a chance to compete on her favorite show, Chef Supreme, she's cautiously optimistic that her luck is changing. On her flight out, she even meets a handsome stranger, Luke, who takes her on a whirlwind night before she has to report to the house, relinquish her phone, and possibly be sequestered from everyone for weeks on end. But when he pops up in the most unexpected of places, Sadie has to figure out how to tamp down her burning attraction and focus on the competition. 

Here's why I loved this book so much, I thought it was going to be heavy on the romance and light on the cooking competition and I was so pleasantly wrong! It very much going into great detail about the cooking competition, the tasks, the behind the scene coaching, and the dynamics of the roommates. From the budding friendships, the unsurprising nemesis, and the unexpected opportunities to grow in ways none of the contestants suspected; this book kept me turning page after page to find out what happens. Sadie's love for cooking Jewish cuisine and other contestants open up about their own backgrounds, cooking inspiration, and challenges they feel with balancing traditional versus innovative approaches to cooking. Oh goodness, just writing my review makes me want to read it all over.

Warning; This book will require snacks, because I seriously had to reluctantly put it down on several occasions,  because the descriptions of the plates were making me so hungry.. 

This book is definitely worth reading! I hope Amanda Elliot has more stories to give us in the future. I liked her writing style and genuinely appreciated the way she handled so many different sensitive topics. 

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Romance for allowing me access to this ARC. The opinions is this review are all my own.
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I love love LOVED this book by Amanda Elliot! As a Jewish romance reader, I loved the representation, not just for having a Jewish protagonist but for seeing how Jewish food made its way into the story. The cooking show is so well written - it reminded me of the show UNREAL - without all the nefarious drama. It also made me very hungry so just be aware this book might cause you to postmate ramen at 11pm. Cannot recommend more highly!
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There are not enough words for me to properly express just how much I loved this book and Sadie Brooke Rosen. Amanda Elliot, this book is stellar & deserves all the accolades. First, this is some of the best Jewish representation I’ve seen as of late - Sadie is a chef competing on a cooking show a la Top Chef and her dream has always been to own her own restaurant where she can serve Jewish cuisine. This book details exactly l how Jewish food is not just bagels and lox and how being uprooted has influenced Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine over the years and I loved watching that play out through Sadie’s journey. 

There are other interactions in the book (no spoilers here) where other contestants are confused about how Sadie can cook Jewish cuisine and not be Kosher - as a non Kosher Jew myself, I’ve certainly been questioned on why I’m not eating Kosher or the like. It goes without saying (or it should), there is no one way to be Jewish and it’s always a joy to see someone who observes similarly to you reflected on the page - unfortunately, there is not a ton of Jewish representation in fiction outside of WWII (it continues to increase but it’s still small) so reading a book like this is truly special. 

All of this before I even get to the love aspect of the story and just how much I loved Luke … Sadie’s half Japanese, fellow culinary loving love interest. Sadie on a Plate releases in March and is a must read - I truly hope those less familiar with Jewish culture and cuisine will also check this out to learn more as well.
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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.
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I absolutely loved this book. Fans of Food Network and British Bake-Off will definitely enjoy this debut novel from Amanda Elliot. It follows Sadie, a chef who has just been presented with the opportunity to be a contestant on a popular cooking show. Sadie meets Luke on the plane and they instantly form a connection. However, she does not realize that he is one of the judges on the show she will be competing on. There were so many things I loved about this book- the romance, the representation and diversity of the characters, the character growth, and the cooking show setting. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year so far!

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC!
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I feel like I binge read one of most exciting cooking shows which made me rooting for amazing characters ( instead of Vanilla Joe) there is great mouth watering ethnic food combinations ( especially I got so interested in Appalachian food that I never tried and so intrigued to taste sooner), representation of diverse characters and when you add a forbidden- sweet love story of chefs into the equation, this book turns into delicious feast you never want to miss it!

I enjoy Sadie’s sarcastic, hilarious narration, the way of her character’s evolving by getting rid of her insecurities, finding her own way. And Luke sharing the same name with Emily in Paris’ sexy chef was also kind, genuine from the beginning. I loved his dream to tribute to his ancestors’ traditional dishes in near future.

 This book was truly educational for foodies like me, introducing so many amazing dishes and also realistically criticizing the mansplaining at the food industry ( women are cooks and men are mostly chefs which is the irritating fact! ) 

Conclusion of the book was also extra sweet. I felt lighthearted and kept giggling for a long time as soon as I finished it. 

I am giving great introduction to ethnic food, feelgood, delicious, heartwarming four stars! 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
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A romance SET during a cooking show competition!? And the protagonist is Jewish??? Shut up and take my money.

Sadie is still recovering from her simultaneous job loss and breakup with her chef boss/boyfriend when she gets a screening call for the televised cooking competition Chef Supreme. Even if she doesn't take first place, the coverage and exposure to potential investors could set her up for her own contemporary, Jewish-themed restaurant. She says sure, and her awkward, angsty self makes the final cut and she gets flown, business-class, to NYC, and connects with her cute seatmate, whose hands reveal him to be a chef as well. 

Luke and Sadie hit it off through the flight and beyond, and before she needs to check into her housing and give up her wallet and phone, Luke takes her on a date to an underground Korean restaurant. They share a sweet kiss, and she explains as she dashes away she might be tied up for the next six weeks or so but will be in a touch... and is stunned to learn the hottie chef she snogged is going to be a stand-in judge for a regular on the series who suffered a medical emergency.

The stress of competing, alongside the secret that she was intimate (just a kiss, but you know, soul bearing) with a judge propel the drama, which is neatly plotted along a season of episodes featuring a dozen contestants. Having a unique and strong culinary point of view, and the ability to showcase your culture, heritage, cooking and personality by "putting yourself on a plate" with each dish comes easily to Sadie most of the time ... and she encourages it in her fellow contestants, and especially in Luke, who owns a high end, 3-star restaurant, but is cooking to please his celebrity chef father and their empire, instead of cooking from his heart and soul.

There is SO much to love about this novel. The food descriptions are amazing. Seriously, inventive and amazing: babka beignets? a potato chip knish? And the color commentary are wholly believable - sometimes pretentious, sometimes amusing, wonderfully critical, and always with the "What I have made for you today..." Coupled with the behind the scenes waiting, hold your breath moments of who will win, and the "no really, you have the whole day to plan and prep, we're stopping the cameras" gives a fun behind the scenes tone to the novel.

Amanda Elliot writes as if SHE was a contender on one of these shows (or just watches WAY too much Food Network). Her caricatures of the frenemy playing the game, the smug misogynist, the calculating nerd whose brain is a volume of information on the past seasons of the show and the statistics to help her win, but whose cooking is a little soul-less...somehow they are all also real people. The inclusion of a non-binary character is real and contemporary. The over-the-top smarmy host and cool and collected judge paired with Luke are priceless. There is a ton of humor, such as four of the participants named Joe getting nicknames to tell them apart. 

The subplot of why Sadie's last relationship fell apart adds to the drama, and is wonderfully and satisfyingly resolved. 

Highly recommended for foodies, fans of Top Chef, Christina Lauren fans, and romance readers who like the journey more than the destination (the kisses are few but steamy; sex is implied, but left off the page - the seduction and gory details are all in the food, and that's just fine.)

I received an advance reader's copy for #SadieOnAPlate review from #NetGalley
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A Jewish chef cooking Jewish foods on a cooking competition show? I was predisposed to love this book, but even if I hadn't been, I would have been won over. Following along with Sadie on her journey to cooking stardom and self-discovery/self-acceptance was a delight. Her rapport with Luke was lovely to watch grow (and Luke, although not a POV character, had a great arc of his own). And the pacing and supporting characters made this impossible to put down. A sweet (and savory) romance that I devoured too quickly!
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This one was absolutely cute. The MCs were quite driven, focused yet adorable. However, there isn’t much romance, so it’s the plot that kept me engaging and making it a 3.5 stars read for me.
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Even if you're not a foodie and have never watched Top Chef, SADIE ON A PLATE by Amanda Elliot will still hit the spot. This book seriously made me want to be a better cook, or at least a better restaurant patron. Reading it was like having a behind-the-scenes all-access-pass to a reality television competition. The main character's growth and journey is a fantastic progression between unemployed hot mess to someone who has it all on a plate. I loved the characters, I loved the competition, but most of all, I loved Sadie!
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Cooking competition romance time!  Sadie on a Plate is all about a young Seattle chef who, following a messy break-up, becomes a contestant on a nationally televised cooking program and tries to bring kosher cooking to the masses.

Sadie is in a career crisis. This top-flight chef has been fired from her spot in a Seattle restaurant by her ex, who has proceeded to ruin her reputation by speaking badly of her all over town.  But things start to look up when Sadie receives news that she’s about to become a contestant on Chef Supreme, a nationally broadcast cooking contest. Even better, she meets a cute guy named Luke on the plane to New York. She’s bummed that she won’t be able to talk to him during the show’s filming period due to her NDA; they share a meal and a kiss and part for the time being. Sadie is then horrified to learn that Luke is her competition on the first day of shooting.

As the weeks peel by and Luke and Sadie survive the repeated rigors of competing with one another, their attraction only grows stronger. But will they have to choose between being together and the accolade of being named Chef Supreme?

If you like Top Chef and really, really wanted a couple of the competitors to kiss each other one season, this book will be a gift.  But even if you’re not, Sadie on a Plate is a bright and breezy trip through the hells and joys of life on a cooking competition.

Hooray for representation. Sadie’s desire to make kosher cooking more prominent in the minds of the masses, guided by her internal voice (which takes the shape of her judgy and very dead Grandma Ruth) is a lot of fun to behold.  I loved her refusal to be beaten, even when things seemed their hardest.  And her romance with Luke is sweet as a slice of noodle kugel.  Also points for the book’s quite diverse cast and the way the book speaks about their varying cuisines and cooking styles. The food-talk here is uniformly fun and excellent and mouthwatering, and the representation of life behind the scenes at a reality show is pretty much spot on.

The book kind of straddles the Contemporary Romance/Woman's Fiction line, though; the middle stretch of Sadie on a Plate mainly focuses on the competition and how Sadie survives it, leaving little room for her under-the-covers connection to Luke, and this causes the romance to come off as somewhat under-baked., which might disappoint romance readers looking for more. Those mainly here for Sadie’s journey, however, will be delighted.  And her friendship with Nia is a lot of fun too.

Even though the romance is a little undercooked, Sadie on a Plate has a winning style and a great heroine who manages to make you root for her, flaws and all.

Buy it at Amazon, Audible or your local independent retailer

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I labeled this as a romcom but I might have to take that back because there is very little romance involved in this story. It's there but definitely not the focus. 

The cooking competition tv show is majorly the focus as well as personal coming into your own style in cooking. I really liked how we got so much behind the scenes looks at the show and it really made you realize that not everything you see on reality TV is real. Most of it is scripted and planned. 

I wanted more romance. 
You could definitely tell this is a debut as there are parts that maybe should be left out and others that were not elaborated on enough. Also, I could tell the author was trying to make this a character driven book but it felt much more plot driven. Our characters were just kinda given a label and more or less shoved in our face to make them seem interesting but you could totally tell they were just there to mark off all the diverse boxes. Like, we hot one scene with Ernesto who even was he? 

I'm looking forward to reading the next thing from this author and seeing how the writing grows.
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I love the insight into the culinary world! Sadie is a wonderful protagonist and I loved reading about her journey. Perfect for fans of Top Chef or Great British Bake Off.
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SADIE ON A PLATE is Amanda Elliot’s first adult romance. Sadie, an up-and-coming chef in Seattle loses her job and is trying to figure out what happens next when she’s accepted as a contestant on the cooking competition Chef Supreme.

During her flight to NYC, she feels insta-attraction with her seatmate Luke. Unfortunately, the NDA about the show means Saidie can’t explain why she won’t be able to contact him for 6 weeks. One delicious Korean meal and a smoldering kiss later, Sadie’s off to compete. Imagine her surprise when Luke turns out to be a judge for her season.

This is a sweet, contemporary, New Adult, romance - some heated kisses with lots of longing glances.

What I loved:

The representation of Jewish food - those descriptions of both traditional dishes and Sadie’s elevated takes had me salivating.

The voice of Sadie’s grandmother in her head - so funny!

Diverse cast - ethnically, sexuality, and gender and the cuisines they cooked

While Chef Supreme is fictional, it obviously owes a lot to Top Chef so I loved that women chefs from TC got shout outs 

Sadie was so relatable in both her determination to meet her goals and her belief that things her manipulative jerk ex did were her fault.

Acknowledgment that professional cooking/restaurant industry is often sexist (See the real life scandal following Top Chef season 18).

For fans of cooking competitions and sweet romances. Also for fans of the author’s YA books written as Amanda Panitch, and authors Rachel Lynn Solomon and Helen Hoang.
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This book just didn't work for me. Even though I went into the story expecting there to be some insta-love, I just didn't feel the chemistry between Sadie and her love interest. I also didn't like the fact that he probably knew who she was when he met her if he was going to be on the show, and that part felt very manipulative to me. The writing also had no personality and I found myself reading just to know what happened and not because it was well-written. This story would've been better as a show or movie.
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SADIE ON A PLATE was absolute delight. The chemistry between Sadie and Luke was sizzling and sweet; I adored them. The pacing was so addictive and satisfying that I actually woke up at 7am so I could finish reading this morning (before I had coffee, even!)--hands down a must-read for anyone who loves Master Chef or The Great British Baking Show! And the descriptions of food??? Be warned: reading this book will definitely make you hungry! I cannot wait to read more by Amanda Elliot!
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I DEVOURED this book! Sadie is a saucy and bright main character, and she was easy to fall in love with. 

The reality cooking competition was a delightful setting, bringing together high stakes drama and the complexity of relationships. It was like the Great British Bake Off meets The Next Food Network Star with a romcom twist, or in other words, a collision of my favorite foodie shows. 

I appreciated Amanda Elliot's research into the food world and the way she explained how flavors interact; Sadie shined as an expert in her Jewish cooking and I loved the heritage and stories behind her plates. The food descriptions were luscious and mouth-watering. (Downside: I wanted to eat everything the characters described.) The dialogue was natural. Her meet-cute with Luke was heart-melting. 

Sadie on a Plate is... *chef's kiss* perfect in every way. This was one of my favorite romance reads of all time!
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Sadie has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime: compete on the hit cooking show Chef Supreme. On the plane from Seattle to NYC, she connects with her seatmate. Unfortunately, he's not who she thinks he is.

When I heard this book was Top Chef meets Jewish cooking, I knew I had to have it. Add in some romance, some competition, and it sounded like my perfect read. Unfortunately, I had some issues with it but there's still a lot to love!

- FOOD. Obviously. I want all of that delicious Jewish food right now
- The early chemistry between Sadie and Luke
- Forbidden romance
- The fun, diverse cast of competitors
- Late Grandma Ruth's judgmental voice of reason

- Lack of Sadie and Luke time throughout the middle. Gimme more romance.
- Too much time spent on each challenge of the competition
- Glossed over seemingly important parts of the story
- Could have used even more of the side characters

Overall, this is a sweet, fun, Jewish read. Definitely pick it up if you like a food-filled, slow burn, closed-door romance. And obviously, if you like cooking competitions. 

Thank you, Berkley and Netgalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really love Top Chef and cooking shows so I was already predisposed to like this book. I really enjoyed all the characters and the setting. I thought the exploration of Sadie cooking the food she really wanted to make was well handled and I really liked all the other contestants and characters. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to friends.
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4.5 stars. A sweet, bright dose of serotonin for your reading soul. Sadie is a Seattle chef who's at loose ends after her boss (and former sort-of boyfriend) fires her and badmouths her around town. When she gets a call from Chef Supreme, a Master Chef-style reality cooking show, she jumps at the chance to compete and redeem herself. On the plane to New York, she meets Luke, charming and handsome fellow chef. They clearly have a connection, but Sadie tells him she won't be able to see or speak to him for the next six weeks. Little does she know, she's in for a big surprise on the first day of filming.

Elliot clearly has deep knowledge of reality cooking shows, and affinity for food and cooking in general. She does a good job of centering the competition without taking away from the relationships in the story. I felt like I was right there in the kitchen as Sadie and her fellow chefs dealt with dishes and drama. I only wish we could've had some of Sadie's classic, Jewish-inspired recipes in the back of the book. Maybe there will be a companion cookbook? I would definitely enjoy that.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for the ARC to review. All opinions are my own.
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