I came across this book The School of Essential Ingredients, written by Seattle author Erica Bauermeister. The story is about Lillian, a 30ish chef and restaurateur who teaches a series of evening cooking classes. Her desire is to inspire in her students a love and respect for both food and life. The story follows the lives of eight students who, for various reasons, come to take Lillian’s class. Soon you’ll find yourself hoping the smells of her kitchen will waft through your house. You will want to sign up for her class.
It is more than a book about cooking, it is about the essence of life and learning to look at it differently. It is a story of relationships and how food connects people in unique ways. It is about the magic of Lillian the mysterious teacher who seems to know exactly what people are missing most in their lives.
I highly recommend it. This is Erica Bauermesiter's first novel. She has a wonderful writing style that is gentle and soulfully descriptive. Here is an example :
"And Helen, who had begun to feel as if her life was like the daily turning of pages filled with other people's writing, felt as if she suddenly had come upon an illustration."
" . . .the flavor was full of red bursts and spikes of hot pepper shooting across his tongue; underneath, like a steadying hand, a salty cushion of clam, the soft velvet of oregano, and pasta warm as beach sand."
I know that I am enjoying a book when I am sad to come to the end. This book left me wanting more. I would love to hear about Lillian's next cooking class. Maybe there will be a sequel.
Add this one to your reading list!
In the spirit of savoring life, Cindy