The School of Essential Ingredients (Paperback)
February 2009 Indie Next List
“Lillian, a restaurant owner, teaches Monday night cooking classes as much for herself as for the students. With magical language, first-time novelist Bauermeister weaves the lives of the students in Lillian's class with the meals prepared and life lessons learned. Strong, sensuous writing leaves the reader hungry for more.”
— Holly Smith, Wide World Books & Maps, Seattle, WA
A "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life Once a month, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect... The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And soon they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create.
About the Author
Erica Bauermeister's love of slow food and slow life was cemented by her two years 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.