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!