Cover Image: Sadie on a Plate

Sadie on a Plate

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Member Reviews

A fun, light, contemporary fiction read with a little bit of romance. Good for those who need something comforting  and for fans of the Great British Bake Off. Enjoyable, with plenty of food descriptions. From what I've heard, it also has great Jewish representation (note: I'm not Jewish). Just know going in that this isn't quite the romance it's marketed to be. It's light on the romance, heavy on the food.
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What a fresh and fun food-centered romance! With an incredible cast of characters and even more detailed writing, this one had me laughing out loud and craving all the delicious foods. I was charmed from the first chapter and loved the sizzle of romance between the main characters as well as the fun mix-up as they learn each others' identities. Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing for my copy.
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the foodie in me that wishes she could eat more new foods cooked by others and fed to me absolutely loved this one!!! any book with food as a focus has already piqued my interest! now add romance and giggles and warmth that fills me right up? LOVE!
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If you like watching Top Chef, Sadie on a Plate is a fun book! I loved how similar the cooking show in the book (Chef Supreme) is to Top Chef. My husband and I love watching Top Chef and now our daughter watches too. I felt like I was reading a behind the scenes story of the show as it included so many details of the filming, the process, and the actual food. This book will make you want to cook! Sadie and Luke’s story is kind of 2nd to the journey that Sadie goes through as a chef, but it’s weaved in so that it is always a present part of the story. I really enjoyed this one!
Thank you to @berkleyromance @berkleypub & @netgalley for the free digital ARC. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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Do you love Top Chef? If so, Sadie on a Plate is perfect for you! After losing her job at a restaurant in Seattle, Sadie gets the call about being a contestant on Chef Supreme and she’s off to New York to compete! On the flight there she’s seated next to another chef - Luke - and there’s an immediate connection. Is he also a competitor? Sadie doesn’t know and they aren’t allowed to say.

Reading this book felt exactly like watching a season of Top Chef and I enjoyed seeing Sadie bring her twists on the traditional Jewish cuisine her grandmother made. However - I went into this book for the romance and felt like it was really secondary and not present for a lot of the book. I wish this had been marketed that way so I knew better what to expect.

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.
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Thank you to Berkley Romance for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I adored this book. I ate it up, if you will. There was just so much about it that I loved. Sadie Rosen will forever live on my list of favorite female main characters. Her sarcastic and witty narration was so relatable and made me feel like she was living inside my own head. Sadie's character development was unmatched. The reader watches her shed her insecurities in real-time and find her path in life.

This book has some of the best Jewish representation, and I'd consider it to be a love letter to Ashkenazi Jewish food. I appreciate this SO much because people so often knock down Ashkenazi cuisine as "just bagels and matzah balls" or as gross food that no one would want to eat. This book did away with those notions. I absolutely loved seeing how Sadie took her Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and made it a cooking show with her spin on traditional foods. I was also very hungry by the end of the book. All of the conversations Sadie had around Jewish foods in this book were just so remarkable.

There was also such an amazing and diverse set of characters. Besides Sadie and Luke, Sadie's half-Korean and established chef love interest, each of the contestants on the show brought so much personality and light to the book. Usually I get overwhelmed when there's so many side-characters, but it was done so well that I was actually invested in each and every one of them.

It also goes a lot deeper than just food. It's ultimately about self-discovery and figuring out how to move on with your life when it feels like all is lost.

SADIE ON A PLATE will definitely be a new go-to recommendation for me. This would also make an amazing TV show. I cannot wait for the world to get their hands on this book!
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This was just an okay read for me. I was hoping for romance but instead the main focus was the cooking competition. Which is fine when I’m watching the food network, but not in a book when I’m looking for a little more substance.
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I loved Sadie on a Plate! Sadie has such a self-deprecating sense of humor and we really got to watch her come into her own over the course of the story. There was so much delicious tension in the competition and between the love interests I raced through this book, needing to know what would happen next. The ensemble cast was excellent, each bringing their own strengths and drama to the table. I loved watching friendships bloom and evolve between Sadie and the other contestants. And the competition itself was always exciting, delivering twists and challenges that allowed Sadie to explore her Jewish heritage and share it with the world. Highly recommend this story!
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This book was such a fun and unique experience to read- I felt like I was front row at a cooking competition! While I did find it a little show moving overall, I really enjoyed the story of Sadie, a young and aspiring chef as she competes in TV's most popular cooking show. 

My favorite part was the descriptions of the food- this author obviously has a lot of experience in the restaurant industry! I did find myself losing interest mid-way through the book as the competitions seemed to be getting a little long and repetitive to me, but it came back around in the end and I really wanted to see how it ended.

I loved the focus on family history and heritage and appreciated the relationships between the show's cast of characters as well. This is definitely a unique and fun one, perfect for any fans of reality cooking shows! 

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for my free copy to read and review.
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Rating: 5.0 – I loved this book!

Romance Tropes & Steam Rating: PG/PG 13 – romance but not overly sexy or in your face. Some would consider this more of a women’s fiction / rom-com / sweet/clean romance. Meet cute. Secret relationship. Work romance.

Notes: Jewish representation. Reality show cooking competition; for fans of cooking shows like Top Chef. Perfect for fans of sweet romance, also recommend for fans of Love and Other Disasters if you’re cool with non-steamy romance. Themes of believing in yourself and your skills. Staying true to who you are. Finding yourself in your passions. Following your dreams.

Review & Recommendation: Overall I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed the way she wrote the Jewish culture into this book and would personally love a good gefilte fish recipe because I’ve always hated it! Loved the descriptions of food made me feel like I was really watching this happen, and of course I wanted to try so many of the dishes! I really enjoyed the writer’s style and flow of the book. I would absolutely recommend it and am looking forward to anything else she writes!
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Looking for an adorable book that will feel like a warm, hearty, and comforting bowl of matzah ball soup for your heart and soul (and will leave your mouth watering and make you binge-watch every reality cooking competition show you can get your hands on?!)?

Then grab a copy of SADIE ON A PLATE by @amandaelliot ASAP (and fair warning, have great food or snacks on standby because you will absolutely need them!!)

This gem of a book made me so, so happy. As a longtime spectator and fan of Bravo's Top Chef and The Food Network's Cupcake Wars and Chopped, this book spoke to my foodie heart and harkened back to the days I would sit around the living room with my brother and sister, waiting with bated breath to see which of the Top Chef contestants would sadly be asked to "please pack their knives and go."

I dare you not to fall in love with main character and Jewish protagonist Sadie Rosen. Having recently been fired, dumped and humiliated by her piece-of-garbage boss and boyfriend, Derek, and feeling like she is wandering aimlessly, Sadie applies to be on reality cooking show "Chef Supreme," and is shocked when she is selected as a contestant and whisked from Seattle to New York.

While en route to The Big Apple, Sadie meets and instantly clicks with fellow airplane passenger and seatmate Luke, who - unbeknownst to her - will play a big role in Chef Supreme. Will this potential connection spell disaster for Sadie's big chance to prove herself as a serious chef and for her chance at love?

I loved so many things about this book: the quest each chef was on to find himself/herself/their selves; the idea that cooking from the heart doesn't always mean sticking to or diverging from the food of your heritage; the behind-the-scenes look at how a cooking reality show is run; the diverse cast of characters; the mouth-watering depictions of food; and the way Sadie learns to believe in herself. Aside from Sadie (who was sassy, witty, very easy to root for, and a level of honest that I would love to grow up to be one day), I also adored secondary characters Nia, Kaitlyn, Kel, and even production assistant Adrianna (note: I listened to the audiobook of this one, so I'm taking a stab at name spellings since I didn't have a physical copy or e-copy to go on- sorry in advance for any misspellings!)

Speaking of the audiobook, voice actor @emilylawrence (who I fell in love with while listening to A Brush With Love) absolutely nailed the audio on this one! The emotional range she had in her voice, in addition to the ability to pull off the occasional British accent, was awesome, and I could have listened to her all day. She truly brought this story and its characters to life!

My only small qualm with this book? I wanted more romance. I loved the peeks and hints at attraction and chemistry we got from Sadie and Luke, but my hopeless romantic heart yearned for more glances, more shared contact, maybe a sneaking out to meet (even though, realistically, I understood why this couldn't happen because of the conflict of interest involving the competition). Even maybe a few more chapters to flesh out the romantic plotline would have helped. But again, this is my very humble opinion, so please take it with a tiny grain of salt!

Amanda, this book is a jewel and I can't wait to read what you write next! Thank you so much to @audible for my audiobook copy, to @emilylawrence for the wonderful narration, and to @amandaelliot for the heartwarming and soul-nourishing read that is Sadie On A Plate.
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I enjoyed the defense of Jewish cuisine presented by this book and I wish there were recipes for Sadie's dishes! I do wish the romance had been a bit more dominant; it receded a lot and while I loved Sadie's quest for success, I felt like the marketing made me anticipate a heavier romance plot than the book had. I love seeing more Jewish heroines and protagonists, please keep them coming.
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It turns out that the niche subgenre I love most is "romcoms on the set of a reality cooking show" because it's fun for me every time. In this one, Sadie flees a bad work situation involving her boss and revenge pornography when the perfectly timed opportunity to compete on Chef Supreme comes knocking. She wants to seize the dream of having her own restaurant, and this may be the last avenue available to her for reaching it. Things go a bit sideways when she connects with a fellow chef on the flight to New York, only to have him materialize as a judge on the competition.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed in this book. Sadie is an imperfect and likable protagonist, unsure of herself but passionate about food. She has a humorous inner dialogue and amusingly personifies her anxiety in the form of her Jewish grandmother. There's great conversation about Establishment food and how marginalized cuisines like Jewish foods and Appalachian foods are unfairly viewed as not worthy of a fine dining experience. There's also a strong queer cast. Sadie is "not straight" but it comes up only in passing and doesn't have a material impact on the plot. There's a non-binary character and sapphic relationship among side characters,  however. The story touches on how women are underrepresented and harassed in professional kitchens and the importance of using someone's correct pronouns. My favorite relationship is Sadie's realization that she has unnecessarily cast another woman as a frenemy in her head and coming to terms with the jealousy that planted the idea.

While billed as a romance, Sadie and Luke's love story is background at best. It's instalove followed by a forbidden love so forbidden that they mostly have nothing to do with each other throughout the book. It's pining central. A downside of single POV is that Luke is a bit one-note, his brief interactions with Sadie largely revolving around some daddy issues that are reasonable but not overly nuanced. Finally, one of the highlights of the story is Sadie's passion for Jewish diaspora foods and the detailed descriptions of her cooking adventures on the show (the attention to detail wow *literal chef's kiss*). Unfortunately, this strayed into a couple casual mentions of Israeli cuisine with no unpacking of colonialism and food appropriation that I think is necessary there. The repackaging of Palestinian and broader Levantine food traditions as Israeli is wildly problematic, and that sat with me throughout the whole book despite the briefness of the mentions on page.
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I love cooking competition shows and this story is a delicious view from the inside - with a side of romance. I went in to Sadie On a Plate expecting a romantic comedy and, while this story does have a romance element, I was completely taken in by Sadie's journey with food and finding herself in the process. This is a new favorite contemporary fiction novel!
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Sadie on a Plate was a super fun and quick read! I made sure I only read it when I’d already eaten because the food descriptions made my mouth water. I will say I was expecting quite a bit more romance from this book since that is how it’s marketed but we barely got any. The little bits we did get were great though and I would have loved to see more of Sadie and Luke interacting. But I wasn’t too disappointed because the cooking show was so freaking fun to read about. I don’t watch a lot of cooking shows in real life but this book definitely made me want to. Overall I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a fun book to escape into!
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First, thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me a free copy of an unedited proof in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book because I am a lover of television food competition shows, and I also love a good romance thrown in so this seemed like a dead ringer for something I'd enjoy. Sadly, this book overall did not work for me. The food competition in Sadie on a Plate is very heavily influenced by Top Chef, which is also one of my favorites. I did enjoy this aspect and thought it was a fun element to the novel. I enjoyed Sadie's Jewish heritage and how it influenced her food and cooking. Jewish stories and characters are not easily found in the literary world so I believe any good representation should be applauded. The novel has good representation of different backgrounds and diversity through the secondary characters. 

What I struggled with is mostly found in the writing of the story through some of the progressing romance events and over explanation on basic concepts, while under explaining food descriptions or the cooking details. One section mentioned that Sadie was thinking about wearing a flowing white dress. But then it goes on to explain to the reader "But that couldn't happen because she's in cooking competition and didn't bring her whole wardrobe with her." We, as readers, can make that assumption and don't need details like that spelled out for us. The romance was cute, but didn't feel realistic. The "grand gesture" at the end was not at all grand, with nothing risked for anyone and nothing really gained out of it beyond the expected. It is mentioned in the beginning how little female chefs get acknowledged or the credit they deserve within the culinary world, and here is Sadie being absolutely obnoxious about a fellow female chef she has worked with for a few years now, so she's just feeding into the stigma. That's disappointing. For those looking for the spice range, there is no spice in this book. There are about two scenes of intense kissing but nothing beyond that. While the cooking show aspect was fun, it didn't feel like this book was written by someone that has a lot of chef or cooking experience. Sadie, at one point, describes her dish to the judges as a "herby, buttery sauce" and the show judges fell into this hole of describing the food or their presented dishes in the same generic manner. Overall, it was just a bit underwhelming for me.
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I devoured this book, no pun intended.

Sadie is a chef in Seattle who is out of a job. When she gets a call to come in for an interview for a place on the TV show Chef Supreme, things start to turn around. Until she meets a cute guy on her flight who ends up being one of the judges. 

If you were a fan of Top Chef you will absolutely love this book. It was basically like reading a season of the show and I loved every minute. I really liked that it went through each challenge and elimination. The ups, the downs, the details, the drama. I was here for all of it. It definitely helped that I liked Sadie and was rooting for her to win the whole show. Elliot did a nice job balancing the other contestants as likable, forgettable, and dislikable, so you didn’t always mind when people got eliminated.

I did like the insta-love connection with her and Luke. There was an immediate spark and it was fun seeing how they were going to work through the complication. I do feel like Sadie was a bit of an idiot when it came to the Luke stuff and sometimes I just wanted to shake her, but it was kind of a minor storyline so it didn’t bother me too much.

I also really appreciated all of the cultural reference. It wasn’t just Sadie and her nods to Jewish recipes in all of her challenges, but the other chefs paying tribute to their cultures or the cultures of their mentors. It was nice to see the growth of some of their chefs as they discovered who they are and find themselves in the kitchen.

This book was one I couldn’t put down. It felt like binge watching my favorite reality show and I now want to re-watch Top Chef. The details in the cooking were so enjoyable and I loved all of the characters. I would love this book to be a series or to follow some of the chefs from this season after the show, that’s how much I enjoyed them. I can’t wait for Elliot to write another book and am super impressed that this is her debut. I highly recommend it. Especially in the summer when you’re looking for a quick beach read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This one unfortunately is going to be a DNF @ 41%.  This was more fiction rather than romance and just didn't grab me as much as I would have liked. I'm definitely in the minority with this so it's just unfortunately personal preference. Some of the wording felt a bit fat phobic
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3.5 Stars
As a huge food competitions show junkie, this book was right up my foodie alley. Sadie On A Plate gave me all the vibes of what a contestant has to deal with behind the scenes, to a degree. 

We get a woman who is looking to overcome an ugly situation causing her to reinvent herself through this cooking TV thing. The huge factor of this book is her flight to New York for the show. She is a seatmate of another chef...neither is allowed to mention the show because of the standard NDA, so when they have experienced this strong connection, they have no idea of what is going to happen. 

Surprise, they are on the same show, wanting to win to change their future, and how will it end. 
A cute read.
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First Impressions: Have We Met Before?

Fancy seeing you here, cartoon cover. Like the millions of cartoon covers that have come before it, this cover is cute. It’s inoffensive. It’s most unique feature is that it contains a beet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it except that I’ve basically seen it a million times before.

What’s Your Type?

Forbidden Romance
Chefs
Workplace Romance
Cooking Competitions
Tasty Business
Dating Profile

Despite her reputation as an up-and-coming Seattle chef, Sadie has to skip town. After a public, humiliating break-up with her famous chef boyfriend, she’s been blacklisted from the Seattle restaurant scene. So she’s taking her creative spin on traditional Jewish cuisine to New York City, where she’s been chosen as a contestant on the cooking show Chef Supreme. Winning Chef Supreme would mean a chance to have her own restaurant and cook on her own terms.

But when Sadie meets fellow (sexy) chef Luke on the plane ride to NYC, the two hit it off and spend a magical evening together before parting ways…until the next day when she arrives on set and learns that Luke is also on Chef Supreme. In order to have a chance at a dream career, Sadie has to forget about Luke and focus on winning. But it’s really hard when Luke’s always around being a sexy chef, you know?

Meet Cute: Flight Risk

When Sadie boards her plane to New York, she does not expect to be seated next to a super hot chef who also loves Chef Supreme. She and Luke spend the whole flight binge watching the most recent season, and after they disembark, they aren’t ready to say goodbye. They spend an incredible afternoon at a Korean speakeasy, but baby girl signed a non-disclosure, so she can’t tell Luke why she’s in NYC…and if he is a fellow contestant on the show, he can’t say anything either. INTRIGUE.

The Lean: Forbidden Foodies

From While You Were Sleeping, Bill Pullman explains attraction to Sandra Bullock
Due to the legalities of being on Chef Supreme, any romance between Sadie and Luke is EXTREMELY off-limits, which, duh, makes them want each other that much more. And now that they’ve had a taste of what romance could be like together, it’s hard not to think about what could be. Unfortunately, every move Sadie makes is being filmed, so her only off-camera interactions with Luke are limited to rushed moments outside the bathrooms.

Dirty Talk: Not on the Menu

If you are looking for smut, this is not the book for you. Sadie on a Plate reads more like a book about a cooking competition with a romance side-plot. Sex scenes are minimal and generally fade to black before things get more than PG-13. But when Sadie and Luke do finally get a moment alone, you can bet there’s food involved.

Ms. Perky’s Prize for Purplest Prose

Teacher types on laptop while talking to student
Typing a romance novel on a computer screen
His fingernails raked their way down my back, making me shiver in the best way. I signed into his mouth, and he growled into mine.

I wanted him. Right now. Right here on this pile of summer squash.

We Need to Talk: More Tasty Business than Sexy Business

While this book lacked the sexy times I usually prefer from my romance novels, there were a handful of aspects that I did really enjoy. I loved that Sadie is Jewish, and her goal on Chef Supreme is to introduce the world to her unique, modernized take on Jewish food. The tasty business overfloweth!


 
And of course, if you love shows like Chopped, you’re going to love this book. I enjoy a cooking show now and then, but prefer the slower-paced, lower-drama types like Great British Bake Off. Chef Supreme‘s producers and judges kept Sadie and the other contestants on their toes, which means the reader is along for a rushed, frantic ride. Personally, I would’ve liked more time to savor Sadie and Luke’s romance, and less time spent on the other contestants, but the set-up of the story makes that understandably difficult.

Was It Good For You? Needs More Spice

Paul Hollywood looking judgemental
Was this book cute? Yes! Would I call it a romance novel? I guess that depends on your definition of a romance novel, and personally, I prefer a bit more spice. The romance really took a backseat to the cooking competition, and there wasn’t much in the way of sexy business. So if you prefer your rom-coms with more roasted beets than scenes between the sheets, this may be just what you’re craving.

FTC Full Disclosure: I did not receive money or Girl Scout cookies of any kind (not even the gross cranberry ones) for writing this review. Sadie on a Plate is available March 15, 2022.
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