The School of Essential Ingredients
By Erica Bauermeister
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399155437, 256pp.)
Publication Date: January 22, 2009
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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.
Erica Bauermeister is the author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy for Beginners. She lives in Seattle with her family.
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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- 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?