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 line.
Isa's family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. And after moving in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, Isa feels like an outsider in her father's new life. She balances her time between avoiding the awkward "why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom" conversation and her diligent aspiration to become a premiere chef.
Despite 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 further when the enigmatic Diego shows up at the house unannounced.
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 Diego reach a boiling point?
Mixing up only the best ingredients, Salty, Bitter, Sweet:
Is a clean and wholesome rival-to-lovers trope set in a cutthroat kitchen environment
Is a perfect book for foodies ages 13 and up, and features a Latina main character who is trilingual
Explores complicated family dynamics and relatable themes of friendship, acceptance, grief, and learning to care for yourself