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Title: Sadie on a Plate
Author: Amanda Elliot
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Page Count: 351
About the book:
Top Chef meets Always Be My Maybe in this delightful romantic comedy by Berkley debut author Amanda Elliot about a rising chef who lands a once-in-a-lifetime spot on a famous cooking show.
SADIE ON A PLATE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; on sale March 15, 2021) follows Sadie Rosen, an up-and-coming Seattle chef gaining attention for her unique and modern takes on traditional Jewish cuisine. After a messy—and very public—breakup with her chef boss, she becomes the laughingstock of the Seattle restaurant scene. Now jobless and blacklisted from every reputable restaurant in the city, Sadie is sure her career is over. That is, until she gains a coveted spot on her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme.
On the plane to New York, Sadie has undeniable chemistry with her seatmate and fellow chef, Luke. Though she makes it clear that she and Luke won’t be able to meet for the next six weeks, she joins him for an unforgettable dinner before beginning her journey on Chef Supreme. They bond over their mutual love of cooking and their dreams of opening restaurants that honor their roots, and Sadie wants nothing more than to see him again after filming ends. But, to her shock, she turns up to set the next day realizes she’ll be seeing a lot more of Luke than she thought.
In order to save her career, Sadie will have to use all the skills at her disposal to prove that she has what it takes to compete with some of the best chefs in the country while ignoring her growing feelings for Luke. With the stakes so high, will Sadie be able to keep her heart out of the kitchen long enough to secure her future?
Featuring a young Jewish protagonist, mouthwateringly described cuisine, and a sizzling forbidden romance, Amanda Elliot delivers a delicious romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Rachel Lynn Solomon, Christina Lauren, and binge-worthy cooking competitions like Chopped and Master Chef.
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I picked up the phone, my shoulders already drooping. “Hello, this is Sadie Rosen.”
“Hi, Sadie!” It was a woman on the other end, her tone far too chipper for this hour of the morning. “My name is Adrianna Rogalsky, and I’m calling from Chef Supreme. Is this a good time?”
I almost dropped my phone. “Yes!” I cleared my throat, trying to keep from squeaking the way I did when I got too excited. “I mean yes, this is a good time.”
“Great!” Adrianna chirped. “I’m calling to tell you that the committee really liked your application and your cooking video. Would you mind answering a few more questions for me?”
My eyes involuntarily darted to my bookshelf, which consisted mainly of cookbooks. I spent too much time in restaurant kitchens to cook much from them-or at least, up until a week ago I had-but I liked flipping through them to gather ideas and marvel at the food photography. Five were written by winners of Chef Supreme, and four by runners-up and semifinalists. I’d watched every episode of all six seasons, seated on the edge of my couch to goggle at every cooking challenge and winning dish and contestant who cried when eliminated.
Season three’s winner, Seattle’s Julie Chee, was my culinary idol. Derek, my boss, had taken me by her restaurant after-hours one day. She’d laughed when I told her how I’d been rooting for her all season, patted my head like I was a little kid, and then cooked me a grilled cheese with bacon and kimchi. It was the best night of my life. Right after that, I’d started dreaming about competing on the show myself.
And if I didn’t get on my game, that dream was going to evaporate like a pot of boiling water forgotten on the stove. I mean, I didn’t really think I was actually going to make it on the show, but it wasn’t like I was going to hang up on someone from Chef Supreme. “Sorry!” I said. “Bad connection for a minute there. Yes, I’d love to answer some questions.” I shook my head and grimaced. Love? Love was a strong word. I should’ve said I’d be happy to answer some questions. Now Adrianna was probably-
Talking! Already! “Your application from six months ago says that you’re a sous-chef at the Green Onion in Seattle?”
I cleared my throat. “Well, um.” This was not off to a great start. “I was a sous-chef there until last week. I decided to leave to . . . um, pursue personal business opportunities.” Another grimace. Personal business opportunities? What did that even mean?
I really wished I wasn’t naked right now. I knew Adrianna from Chef Supreme couldn’t see me through the phone, but I still felt way too exposed.
Fortunately, job-hopping is fairly common in the food world. So Adrianna just said, “Great. And how would you describe your personal style?”
I hoped she meant food-wise and not looks-wise, because my personal fashion style consisted mainly of beat-up Converses, thrift store T-shirts, and constant calculations on how far I could go between haircuts before crossing the line from fashionably mussed to overgrown sheepdog. “At the Green Onion, I was cooking mostly New American food with some French influences and a bit of molecular gastronomy,” I told her. “But my own style, I’d say, is more homestyle, with Jewish influences? Not kosher cooking; that’s a different thing. I’m inspired by traditional Jewish cuisine.”
Paper rustled on the other end. “Right, the matzah ball ramen you cooked in your video looked fantastic. We were all drooling in the room!”
I perked up. Forgot that I was naked. Forgot that lately I was a walking disaster. “That’s one of my go-tos and will definitely be on my future menu. I’ve been experimenting lately with putting a spin on kugels . . .”
As I chattered on, I could practically see my grandma shaking her head at me. Grandma Ruth had cooked up a storm for every Passover, Yom Kippur, and Chanukah, piling her table till it groaned with challah rolls, beef brisket in a ketchup-based sauce, and tomato and cucumber salad so fresh and herby and acidic it could make you feel like summer in the middle of winter. Pastrami-spiced pork shoulder? Really, dear?
I shook my own head back at her, making her poof away in a cloud of metaphorical smoke. I had that power now that she was dead and buried and existing primarily as a manifestation of my own anxiety.
“. . . so in that way it’s really more of a cheesecake with noodles in it,” I finished up. My blood was sparking just talking about my food; I had to do a few quick hops just to burn off some of that excess energy.
“I love your passion,” Adrianna said on the other end of the phone. “So, I take it that opening your own restaurant is hashtag goals for you?”
“Hashtag goals,” I agreed. And my shoulders drooped again, because that was a dream that was never going to happen now. After I got fired by the Green Onion and the chefs at all the other restaurants worth working at learned why, I became the joke of Seattle’s restaurant industry. Who wanted to invest in the local joke?
She asked me a few other questions, pertaining mostly to my schedule and availability (there were only so many ways to say, “I’m free whenever you want me, considering I no longer have a job”). I continued
to pace around my apartment, circling the coffee table, bare feet padding over the rug. And then, “It’s been lovely to speak with you, Sadie.”
I stopped short, my shin slamming into the table leg. I swallowed back a curse. “It’s been lovely to speak with you . . . too?” I finished with a question, because I couldn’t ask what I really wanted to ask. Is this it? Did I not meet whatever criteria you have? What’s wrong with me?
“We’ll be in touch soon,” Adrianna said. “Have a great day!”
Excerpted from SADIE ON A PLATE by Amanda Elliot, published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2022
About the author:
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.