A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There's more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.
Aspiring chef Isa's family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father's new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, "why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom" conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.
The upside of Isa's world being turned upside-down?
Her father's house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard's renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa's stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.
How can Isa expect to hold it together when she's at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?
Salty, Bitter, Sweet:
-Is aYA contemporary #OwnVoices novel written by CNN producer Mayra Cuevas
-Features a Latina main character who is trilingual
-Is inspired by the author's relationships with food and family
-Explores complicated family dynamics and relatable themes of friendship, acceptance, and learning to care for yourself
Learn more about the food featured in Salty, Bitter, Sweet with Isa's kitchen notes, available in the audiobook companion PDF download.
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"Narrator Jennifer Araya's heartfelt and determined performance will have listeners rooting for aspiring teenaged chef Isa as she joins an intense cooking competition in France. Araya has an ear for the various Spanish, French, and English accents of Isa's international competitors and supportive family members. The competition is ruthless, but Araya keeps her performance grounded as Isa is drawn into a budding romance while also coming to terms with the loss of her Cuban grandmother, whose love and cooking inspired her. Araya smoothly pronounces the names of complex French dishes, and she uses a soulful tone of voice when Isa reflects on mouthwatering comfort food. Araya delivers a compelling and passionate performance that gives listeners a seat at the table of an aspiring chef. J.E.C. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine"
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