The School of Essential Ingredients

By Erica Bauermeister
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399155437, 256pp.)

Publication Date: January 22, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the 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


Description

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 is the author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy for Beginners. She lives in Seattle with her family.




NPR
Monday, Apr 5, 2010

Once upon a time, it was fashionable to adore all things French. Those days are gone — remember "freedom fries"? — but author Danielle Trussoni is convinced that there are plenty of Americans who still love French culture, fashion and food. Trussoni recommends three books about France — all with a certain je ne sais quoi. More at NPR.org

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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. When Claire first walks into Lillian’s, she reflects: “When was the last time she had been someplace where no one knew who she was?” Is the anonymity of the kitchen a lure for Lillian’s students?

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