May 10, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister


The School of Essential Ingredients is not a book I would normally pick up - anything to do with cooking I try to steer away from as it is not exactly my forte! But this book actually made me want to learn to cook - that means it was pretty good!

The setting of the book is a cooking school being run at a local restaurant owned by Lillian. As the book opens we learn about Lillian and what led her to her passion of cooking. We then hear about each of the characters that are attending this particular cooking class in turn - what has led them to the class and what it is they need to get out of it. It is clear that the cooking class is really a front for many other issues and the students learn that food and how we prepare and consume it can represent so much more.

When I started the book I was a little bit afraid that the writing would be too flowery for me and the constant references to food and its impact in people's lives a little too over the top - but this was not the case. I eased into the book and the setting Bauermeister was creating. I even loved the way the book left you wanting just a little bit more at the end - like any good meal!

12 comments:

claire said...

I'll be reading this, too! I love books about food. Not that I'm a good cook, but because it's my husband's "thing" and it's something I try to share with him. I try to immerse myself in his interests. :D Really glad to hear that you liked it. It just means more chances of me liking it, too.

mattviews said...

I didn't get to this book during vacation, but my initial feeling mirrored yours---that a book centers around cooking might be a bit too technical for me. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

Karen said...

Hi Claire - I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. It is a very sweet book (no pun intended!).

Hi Matt - It's a shame you didn't get to this one on you holiday - it would have been a perfect book for a holiday I think. Hope you enjoy it when you do get to it.

JoAnn said...

This was an excellent audiobook, too! I was left wanting more of the characters...it ended too soon for me.

Tara said...

I loved this! I'm glad you liked it too, despite not having a big interest in cooking - that's good to know!

liliannattel said...

I'll have to check it out. My name is Lilian, too, and I am def not a cook. Fortunately my h is. He loves me for my other qualities.

Thoughts of Joy said...

"When I started the book I was a little bit afraid that the writing would be too flowery for me and the constant references to food and its impact in people's lives a little too over the top..."

That's the exact sentiment I have. I'm so glad to read that it was not the case for you. I hope I find it to be true for me, too.

booklineandsinker said...

this is another book i've been seeing all over the blogs...and i love the cover! i long to be a good cook but don't like to make a mess in my kitchen. :)

Holly said...

Love the honest review. I've been wanting to read this for awhile.

Karen said...

Hi JoAnn - I can imagine this would be lovely to listen to as an audio book - I hadn't even thought of reading it that way.

Hi Tara - I know! I was glad my lack of interest in cooking didn't put me off the book.

Hi Lilian - my partner is a great cook too - I would probably starve without him!

Hi Joy - I hope you find it that way too. As I said, the first section is a little descriptive but hang in there because it gets better!

Hi booklineandsinker - I don't like mess anywhere!! Maybe that's why I don't enjoy cooking... You've got me thinking now!

Hi Holly - I would definitely pick this one up - a nice, light and enjoyable read.

Ti said...

I CAN cook but choose not to a lot :) However, I do love food so this book sounds great for the foodie in me.

Karen said...

Hi Ti - I think anyone who enjoys food would love this book. Some of the descriptions of the cooking are mouth watering!