The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients Reminiscent of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate a gorgeously written novel about life love and the magic of food The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gat

Reminiscent of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, a gorgeously written novel about life, love, and the magic of food.The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen Students incluReminiscent of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, a gorgeously written novel about life, love, and the magic of food.The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students lives One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian s food, including a white on white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

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The School of Essential Ingredients

About Author

  1. Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the novel The School of Essential Ingredients and the upcoming novel Joy For Beginners June 9, 2011 The School of Essential Ingredients is currently being published in 22 countries and Joy For Beginners was recently selected to be performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles June 12, 2011 Erica Bauermeister received a B.A from Occidental College and a Ph.D from the University of Washington She is also the co author of 500 Great Books by Women A Reader s Guide and Let s Hear It For the Girls 375 Great Books for Readers 2 14 She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.

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The School of Essential Ingredients Comment

  1. HmmmmI see a lot of people here liked this book For me the writing style was almost embarrassingly florid, and simile laden WAY too saccherine for me.


  2. The School of Essential Ingredients is a story of a cooking class, but is oh so much The spices, smells, textures, and flavors throughout the book are used as connection points to the students, their lives, memories, needs, and secrets As you read this book, you get a warm, cozy feeling from it that lingers with you You can almost smell and taste right through the book This is a book I probably would never have picked up, and if I had, it would have taken a long time for me to finally take the [...]


  3. Renowned chef Lillian owns a restaurant in the Pacific Northwest and every Monday night she hosts a cooking class.Yep, that s pretty much it Sounds too simple, right This novel is, above all else, a beautifully written character study of each student in Lillian s class Each character is given their own chapter and their diversity is bound to strike a chord in readers from all walks of life.Bibliophiles everywhere will see themselves in Lillian s mother, a woman who used books to escape the harsh [...]


  4. oops I misposted this review with the wrong book earlier this week Sorry I m blaming holiday craziness This is a glorious book It s about food as a touchstone and a means for memory, community, nurturing, healing, loving, seduction, sustenance, pleasure, joy, beginning, endings life It is the story of a cooking class that learns far than culinary skills at the hands of a chef whose wisdom is not limited to food stuffs The language is lush and decadent, rolling off the page and into your mind li [...]


  5. The School of Essential Ingredients is a quick read focused on a Monday night cooking class held at a popular local restaurant, Lillian s Lillian herself presides over these classes and, as someone who has always had an intrinsic understanding of the power of food to heal and comfort, she eagerly awaits each new class to see the transformations some positive, some negative that her students undergo as they respond to the food around them The novel opens as Lillian welcomes her new students a bea [...]


  6. I am not sure if this book can be called a culinary exercise in poetic philosophy But if it can work, then that is what I feel it is Add a touch of fairyland and a dollop of romance to it and the end result is a gentle, dreamy, adventure into vegetables and meat.Lilian runs a restaurant and offers cooking classes on Monday evenings when her business is closed Through her teachings she is changing the lives of the participants who all came for different reasons to attend the lessons They all come [...]


  7. When an ARC arrives at my house, it usually goes in the stack of ARCs waiting to be read But recently, I have cut down on ARC requests and have been diligently making my way through them I m pretty sure I only have one left in the stack to read So, when The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister arrived on Tuesday, it was serendipitous timing I had just finished Blindspot, and hadn t picked up another book yet.I started it Tuesday night, staying up way too late reading It grabbed [...]


  8. While I did finish this book, mainly to read about the food, this topic has been done before and done better, I think by Joanne Harris and Sarah Addison Allen I did not mind the magical realism I am a fan of Alice Hoffman s, after all but the writing left a lot to be desired I found the writing repetitious and the author used FAR TOO MANY SIMILES By the middle of the book I was mentally groaning every time I encountered yet another simile Another thing that annoyed me was her over use of descrip [...]


  9. A solid 3.5 enjoyable read This was a comfort read for me A cast of characters from all walks of life with very different experiences and at very different stages all come together once a week for cooking class Of course, they learn so much .about themselves, about each other and about how to look at and experience life It was a quick and easy read, with a feel good ending For me, the food was as much a character of this ensemble cast as the others I would LOVE to find a class like this I closed [...]


  10. This book was AMAZING I was hungry while reading it, and hungry for when I finished Congrats to Erica for writing such an amazing first novel I loved the how each chapter was a different characters point of view about their life and how they ended up in Lillian s cooking class There were some of the best pieces of advice within the pages of this book I think it really appeals to people who cook, or don t cook for that matter like me but now I want to really start learning how and experimenting [...]


  11. This is a glorious book It s about food as a touchstone and a means for memory,community, nurturing, healing, loving, seduction, sustenance, pleasure, joy, beginning, endings life It is the story of a cooking class that learns far than culinary skills at the hands of a chef whose wisdom is not limited to food stuffs The language is lush and decadent, rolling off the page and into your mind like a drug I could taste, smell, see and feel everything as if I was indeed standing at the prep table my [...]


  12. I ve given 5 star ratings to a lot of books I ve really liked But The School of Essential Ingredients is on a totally different plane This is a novel of pure love, toward food and toward life I ve never said this in any other review I ve written either on here or in my movie reviews This book will change your life, no matter if you simply read it straight through without much reaction Scenes will creep into your memory at times you never expected If you re not a foodie, you ll become a bit of on [...]


  13. I have read way, way too many books like this Several random individuals end up meeting regularly in this case for a cooking class and gradually bonding Each character comes with his own set of traumas and in each chapter we meet a different one and learn his story, interspersed with the teacher s deep philosophical food musings as she demonstrates cake, turkey, or whatever such pithy gems as, the flour is like the guy at the party who you don t realize is sexy until the end huh The teacher is c [...]


  14. It probably sounds a bit sad that I actually give this book to myself as a Christmas present lol but I sometimes tend to be quite melancholy around Christmas, First, I couldn t go home as every resources are reserved for my sister s wedding next FebruarySecond, not going home means I couldn t ask mum to cook all her special dishes for me oh especially those sour sweet shrimps oh yummyThree, Christmas means baking cookies for the whole family oh yeah I can bake cookies hehe but maybe this time I [...]


  15. A cabin weekend read, recommended sadly by NPR I ended up reading parts aloud to Mara and Abby while we all read by the lake this weekend, because the writing was so florid and because a grieving husband makes a very creepy tribute to his dead wife, involving her ashes and a cake served to her mourning friends The author made a rookie mistakes of writing from the perspectives of all of the characters while maintaining the florid, simile laden language with every character, so you are forced to b [...]



  16. I picked this because it was short and I was waiting for my other audiobook to get here so I didn t want something that was going to take forever, in case the other book arrived within the week I had no idea what it was really about except people coming together to cook and heal That sounded nice And it was nice Actually, the story, itself, is quiet and lovely, centered on food and the individual lives of people in a winter cooking class.I liked the first several pages, the idea of a little girl [...]


  17. The School of Essential Ingredients is than a cooking school Chef and instructor Lillian proves it s a chance to rediscover your own life The School of Essential Ingredients allows readers a peak into the life of each student and we watch with pleasure as their worlds realign and come together.While nothing earth shattering really happnes here, the pacing is beautiful it reads so quickly, but has that lovely, languid slowness that I crave on a January afternoon This is a perfect read for a snow [...]


  18. 2011 29 yang didapat ketika baca buku ini laparsakannya enak enak, kelas restoran, dan banyak resep italia favoritku, canneloni dengan saus yang menetes netes, taart coklat berwarna putih, kepiting saus lemonnguasa penguasa dapur yang bikin teringat ketika baca buku ini 1 Burger Blenger.Sudah pernah nyoba Kalau menurut saya, rasanya enaakk sekali Dagingnya yang dipanggang sampai empuk, tebal dan mantep lah sangat jauh beda dengan mcD punya , sayurannya kyuri jepang yang segar dan tomat Cheesenya [...]


  19. Setiap makanan memiliki keajaiban.Lillian mempercayainya, dan itulah alasan ia membuka kursus memasak di restorannya setiap Senin malam Setiap muridnya memiliki alasan tersendiri berada di sana Alasan yang berbeda beda, dan masalah yang juga berbeda Tapi perlahan, semuanya disembuhkan dengan sihir sederhana, tapi sering kali dilupakan Masakan, dan cinta yang perlahan tumbuh dalam setiap suapan, adukan, dan taburan dalam kebersamaan mereka.Isabelle, yang telah melupakan banyak hal dalam hidupnya, [...]


  20. Brilliant So heartfelt and tender This book is poetry A work of art The writing is fabulous, the story is told beautifully, and the author conveys such an artistic love and appreciation of food, it s like magic I don t know how to describe it in words This is a must read for any foodie, chef, anyone who cooks, anyone who eats Simply delicious I would love if there were a companion book or website with recipes for the meals in the story, but then again, Lillian the chef and cooking class teacher [...]


  21. One of the best parts of this book turned out to be the thing I was a little wary of before starting it every chapter is from a different character s viewpoint I m a people watcher I love to guess where people are going and why This book takes that idea and actually gives you the answers We get a glimpse into all these people s lives.I was surprised how much I liked the story It s a very quick read I just got the copy yesterday afternoon and I m already done The descriptions, especially of the f [...]


  22. If you appreciate the concept of the Slow Food Movement and cooking without recipes you ll love this book Definitely one of my all time favorites A great weave of food and characters I loved putting the book down and climbing out of bed to zest some orange peel in a cup of fresh hot chocolate.


  23. I picked this book just because I wanted to read something different I was bored of reading similar kinds of books This was a genre that I had not explored so I thought why not I ordered Chocolat and this book, both based on cooking and food just to see if I will like the genre Both books were good but not mind blowing They were not so good that I would want to read books in this genre.The writing and the language is beautiful.Some quotes were good like He knew that not all sticks in a nest are [...]



  24. I just finished reading this book, which I must say I might never have picked up, except for the fact that I won it in a Free Book contest I m so glad I did, because the book is very, very good Essentially, it s the story of Lillian and the restaurant she owns where she holds cooking classes However, that doesn t begin to tell the story Lillian has a magical talent, which is that she can select food for individuals that helps them remember critical events in their lives in a positive way, and he [...]


  25. Everything about this book was just okay to me I found it to be very boring, predictable, all loose ends neatly tied by the finish The descriptions of the food sounded delectable, but other than that all the story lines were pretty bland Each student in Lilian s cooking class was conveniently broken in some two dimensional way and under the spell of food and Lilian doing her best fairy godmother imitation waving her magic wand, everything was miraculously right in the world again.Not only were t [...]


  26. Simply put one of my absolute favorite reads OF ALL TIME FOR EVER Just completed a third reading of this novel in preparation for a second reading of the sequel The Lost Art of Mixing all for the book club I facilitate we will speak with Ms Bauermeister this Saturday as part of our discussion cannot wait I never cease to be amazed by this book the author s deft usage of such visual sensual language with regard to food Being a foodie myself, I am especially appreciative of her writing skills I sm [...]


  27. I admit, I am the Marketing Director for Penguin, but you need to trust me on this one because I bought and read this book a full year before I started working at Penguin I promise.I read The School of Essential Ingredients in one fell swoop, on one plane ride In fact, I picked it up based entirely on the cover gorgeous and the fact that it was a novel about cooking my favourite kind.But I was, in fact, delighted to find that the book was than just a pretty face Erica Bauermeister is a gorgeous [...]


  28. Lillian has discovered that the art of preparing fine foods can heal many of the soul s wounds Personal experience tells her so As students filter into the cooking school that she holds in her restaurant every Monday night, she begins to teach them the secrets of culinary excellence, tailoring the meals to each particular person s unspoken need As raw ingredients are transformed into luscious feasts, each person in the class is also changed From the frazzled housewife to the couple with a stormy [...]


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