Top Chef meets Love From Scratch in Schmitt’s Where There’s a Wisk. Peyton Sinclaire wants to escape her terrible life in North Florida. When she gets a chance to compete on Top Teen Chef, Food TV’s new reality show, Peyton jumps at the chance to spend the summer in Manhattan.
The winner receives a culinary scholarship, which would change Peyton’s life. But things aren’t so easy when you have people out to get you, snarky judges and cameras in your face 24/7. With seven other teen chefs competing for the prize, Peyton doesn’t know who she can trust and who has the fake TV persona.
Desperate to prove that her background isn’t a hindrance, Peyton must prove that she belongs to be their just as much as anyone else and show it doesn’t matter where you come from.
We’re happy to say that Schmitt hooked us right away. We’re usually not fans of introducing a lot of characters right away, but she did a great job making every person distinct. For the girls, there’s Dani, the princess, Lola the energetic one and Inaaya, the girl next door. For the guys, we meet Paulie, the “bad boy”, Hakulani, the surfer from Hawaii, Malik the fun guy and Adam, the stoic and unreadable guy.
Quickly, Peyton makes friends with Inaaya and Malik, and has a connection with both Paulie and Hakulani. The love triangle is done really well, except we wish Peyton had told the right guy how she felt earlier. Wanted them to have more page time! We loved that Malik and Peyton a great friendship connection. They were always so supportive of each other, even when the competition got intense.
Unfortunately, we also had Dani, who tried to undermine Peyton at every turn. We wanted to shake Dani and say “Leave Peyton alone!” Her “my daddy is a famous chef” vibe got on our nerves, but the show needed a villain.
One of our favorite parts of the story were the different challenges. They had to be inspired by places in NYC, such as Broadway, the Statue of Liberty and the Bronx Zoo. For anyone wanting to visit this city, reading this book is a great way to get some inspiration.
The sad part of the competition was how the producers made everything into a story, which really hurt Peyton along the way. It gave insights into what real reality TV shows casts deal with. Honestly it gave us major Bachelor and Bachelorette vibes.
Overall, we love cooking shows so we found Where There’s a Wisk to be entertaining, creative and as sweet as Peyton’s famous Key Lime Pie. We definitely recommend this one as a light summer read for those interested in the culinary arts.