The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

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 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; Anto...


Details The School of Essential Ingredients

TitleThe School of Essential Ingredients
ISBN9780399155437
Author
Release DateJan 22nd, 2009
PublisherG. P. Putnam's Sons
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Food and Drink, Food, Cooking, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Romance
Rating

Reviews The School of Essential Ingredients

  • Lisa Kelsey
    1970-01-01
    Hmmmm...I 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.
  • Brenda
    1970-01-01
    The School of Essential Ingredients is a story of a cooking class, but is oh so much more! 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, i...
  • Michele
    1970-01-01
    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'...
  • Jackie
    1970-01-01
    ***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 more than culinary skills at the hands of a chef whose wisdom is not limited to food stuffs. The language ...
  • Margitte
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • Amanda
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • JoAnn/QuAppelle
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Carrie
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Connie
    1970-01-01
    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 more....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...
  • K8e
    1970-01-01
    This book was AMAZING!!!!! I was hungry while reading it, and hungry for more 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 m...
  • K
    1970-01-01
    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 d...
  • miaaa
    1970-01-01
    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 y...
  • Rory
    1970-01-01
    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 e...
  • Joanna
    1970-01-01
    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-lad...
  • Maribel
    1970-01-01
    3,5/5
  • Erica
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • Indri Juwono
    1970-01-01
    #2011-29#yang didapat ketika baca buku ini = lapar.masakannya enak-enak, kelas restoran, dan banyak resep italia favoritku, canneloni dengan saus yang menetes-netes, taart coklat berwarna putih, kepiting saus lemon.penguasa-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 mc...
  • Hilda
    1970-01-01
    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.Isa...
  • Traci
    1970-01-01
    The School of Essential Ingredients is more 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...
  • Jen
    1970-01-01
    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 stor...
  • Ash
    1970-01-01
    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 more books in this genre.The writing and the language is beautiful.Some quot...
  • Maria
    1970-01-01
    Тази книга я четоха две от многото ми „Аз” – романтичната и циничнатами страна. Но защо циничната – по-скоро тривиалната и ежедневната. Романтичната ми част се опита да се наслаждава и даже успя - през повечето време. А циничната ми седя от стран...
  • Sara
    1970-01-01
    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 Goodreads 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 r...
  • Sharmeela
    1970-01-01
    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 wa...
  • Lynn
    1970-01-01
    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" ...
  • Rebecca McKinnon
    1970-01-01
    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 a...
  • Susan
    1970-01-01
    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.
  • Nicole (TheBookWormDrinketh)
    1970-01-01
    Lillian loved to watch her students at this moment – they were elements that would become more complex and intriguing as they mixed with one another, but at the beginning, placed in relief by their unfamiliar surroundings, their essence was clear. A young man reaching out to touch the shoulder of the still younger woman next to him – “What’s your name?” – as her hand dropped to the stainless-steel counter and traced its smooth surface...
  • Heather
    1970-01-01
    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. F...