Nov 7, 2012

Review: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (Paperback)

THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS by Erica Bauermeister is one of those books that was stuck on my mind since it came out in January 2009.  As a lover of cooking and all things food, I knew right away that I  wanted to read this book and I had every intention of doing so, but it just never happened. The only excuse I have is that there are simply too many great books out there and not enough time to get to all of them. Its a flimsy excuse, but it's all I got. That said, with the follow-up being released soon and being included on the tour, it was the perfect opportunity for me to finally get it read.

This beautifully written story of Lillian, a restaurant owner and cook, who closes her doors on Monday evenings to teach a cooking class, is the perfect book to read if you're looking for something calm, soothing and just plain lovely.  The story begins with how and why Lillian has such a love for food and cooking. You get a real feel for what kind of woman she is and, in my case, I instantly adored her. Her calm and graceful persona brings out the goodness of those around her, especially her students, who all seem to adore her as well.

As the classes continue, the reader is given insight to each of the people who show up eager to learn the next lesson and what brought each of them to be taking this class. With each passing week, the students are also learning more about each other, new friendships are formed through their interests in cooking and, thanks to Lillian, they begin to appreciate the simplicity of good food.

My Thoughts:

I really, really enjoyed this book and the journey in getting to know the students in the cooking class. Lillian is a great character and had a warmth about her that is inviting and soothing. Simply put, this is not a book filled with twists and turns and second-guessing about motives. This is a book that should be savored like a nice glass of wine after dinner - a book not to be rushed through. The characters are interesting and each of their stories are important and I enjoyed them very much.

This book is a quick read that is perfect for those times when you've just finished an intense book and are looking for something to make you feel good inside. All of the reviews that I read back when this book was first published were right on. I'm really looking forward to THE LOST ART OF MIXING, the follow-up to this book. I'll be posting my review later this month (the 29th), as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Author: Erica Bauermeister
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Published: January 2010
Pages: 261
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5


  1. I read this book a couple of years ago and just loved it. I'm looking forward to her new book!

  2. I loved this book. Absolutely adored it. Erica's writing is wonderful. I want to use words like delicious and delectable! This is one that goes on the favorite to be read again shelf. Awesome review.
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  3. My only complaint is that the marketing team should have packaged it with brownies or something. I was STARVING after reading it.

  4. So glad you loved this one, too. Bauermeister's writing is fantastic.

  5. Yes, savored is the best word for this one!! Loved it too!!

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Lisa. I did too!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to hearing from you again soon!