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In this remarkable debut, Bauermeister creates a captivating world where the pleasures and particulars of sophisticated food come to mean much more than simple epicurean indulgence. Respected chef and restaurateur Lillian has spent much of her 30-something years in the kitchen, looking for meaning and satisfaction in evocative, delicious combinations of ingredients. Endeavoring to instill that love and know-how in others, Lillian holds a season of Monday evening cooking classes in her restaurant. The novel takes up the story of each of her students, navigating readers through the personal dramas, memories and musings stirred up as the characters handle, slice, chop, blend, smell and taste. Each student's affecting story—painful transitions, difficult choices—is rendered in vivid prose and woven together with confidence. Delivering memorable story lines and characters while seducing the senses, Bauermeister's tale of food and hope is certain to satisfy. (Jan.)
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Erica Bauermeisters love of slow food and slow life was cemented by her two years of living in northern Italy with her husband and children. She has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Washington and currently lives in Seattle with her family. The School of Essential Ingredients is her first novel.See all Editorial Reviews
I love food. I love books. I love people. This novel was perfect for me. Full of a dreamy ambiance and luscious food, I wanted to eat the entire time I was reading. Read morePublished 5 days ago by H. Hart
Interesting, funny, insightful. A shopping bag of mixed ingredients baked into a charming and thoughtful tale.Published 10 days ago by Chloé
Even though cooking and ingredients are not as enchanting in the real world, the symbolic use holds great meaning and brings each character to roaring or gentle life.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is wonderful in many ways. Themes of love and loss, betrayal and forgiveness, loneliness and fulfillment are expertly woven across the tapestry made up of lives of... Read morePublished 20 days ago by stuartsara
Book club pick and wasn't excited to read. It was a quick read and different. I wanted to like it but ended up just reading to get through it. I think my mom would like this one.Published 1 month ago by SHERI DENNSION
The story was delicious with all the ingredients blended together expertly. The story was like a perfect gourmet meal. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Victoria
Some of this book tasted good. Some was a bit bland, in need of spicing. The author's love for food and its careful preparation is the best part of the mixture. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Hammel
Very good story. Our book club read it and it was one of our better discussions. We will be reading the sequel for next month!Published 1 month ago by Michele