Customer Reviews for

The School of Essential Ingredients

Average Rating 4
( 313 )
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5 Star

(133)

4 Star

(117)

3 Star

(42)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just read it!

    This book was wonderful. Makes you want to take the class or start one of your own. My hope is that she will write another book with a new class.
    Her descriptions of aromas and tastes are phenomenal. Make your mouth water and the way she brings it to a conclusion in such a short time is a wonder.
    Enjoy the book then go cook up a great, slow meal.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I could smell the aromas wafting from the kitchen!

    The endearing characters meet in cooking class where meals are not only prepared but are a healing mechanism to heal the inner spirit. Appetites are connected to the eight students aspirations and soothe the heart and soul. The chapters are told from each student's perspectve in flashback. This is a beautiful in-depth character study that will warm your heart! Wonderful!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A feast of a book

    This beautifully written novel really makes you more aware of the little miracles in life and appreciate them in a whole new way. I am a sucker for anything with magical realism and this book is no different. The sensual and joyful celebration of food carries over to other aspects of life easily. It stands out, ezpecially during this time in our lives where the simple things mean the most to us.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Hymn to Food and Friendship!

    Lillian's mother escapes the devastation of her husband's abandonment by reading, silently and out loud during times of rest, meals, even while shopping. Striving to reach through the neutralizing dead zone of this wall of oblivion, Lillian strives to reach her mother and finally succeeds after numerous failed experiments, through the power of food. Yes, food, Lillian comes to understand, literally and figuratively gives life to all who partake.<BR/><BR/>Quite naturally, Lillian learns to cook on her own and through experience eventually opens a restaurant and offers cooking classes with a two-fold purpose. It is her dream to share that same connection with life imparted to her mother through food. Now, however, she won't know who is coming to her classes but learn she will and be the conduit of teaching how nourishment, healing and love are guaranteed for those who respect the ingredients and process of food preparation. <BR/><BR/>Lesson One is about interrupting a life process and creating a new one, a tintillating suggestion to Claire, who has lost her identity to the role of mother, who begins to sense a change as she fully engages her appreciation of a live and cooked crab. Then the reader relishes how the act of baking a structurally balanced cake touches Carl and Helen, a loving couple moving beyond hurtful betrayal. Again and again, new recipes address individual stories weaving through different and similar ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast (differnt from what the reader expects for sure), a course of beauty, an immersion into sensual appreciation v. efficiency of food preparation, and so, so much more.<BR/><BR/>In The School of Essential Ingredients, the reader's own appreciation and love of life grows so much larger because of these endearing, real life characters and the succulent presentations, explanations and depictions of food experienced from a wholly new perspective. Whether you like to cook or eat food, this reviewer guarantees that every reader of this superbly written novel will savor every page, think of it long after the first and second reading, return to its celebration of characters who grow while attending this momentous class, and vicariously taste, feel and embrace this most delicious menu of culinary possibilities! <BR/><BR/>Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on February 1, 2009

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2010

    Now I want to go to cooking school!

    I loved this book! It was a truly beautiful story. Even though each character only got a chapter, I felt like I knew and understood each one. It was very easy to see how each of their stories would connect them in the end. Lillian is the only character that I wish was developed a little more. She has such a powerful impact on each of the students in her class, I wish I connected a little more with her background. Each time I thought a character was a favorite, I started a new chapter. The book and each individual story was resolved perfectly. The imagery was amazing. I could easily see everyone and everything in the kitchen and the restaurant and I could smell and taste everything they were cooking. I have been inspired to go to cooking school. The book was DELICIOUS!
    I also think it would make an incredible series. Each book could have a new group of students (characters) with their own stories.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED this book!!!!

    This wasn't a book I would normally read, but I bought it for book club at my local BNN, and I completely LOVED it! The story, the characters, the everything was so wonderful, just like a great meal. I highly recommend this book for anyone, whether you like to cook or not. And if you don't like to cook...you will!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    A beautiful, warm-hearted book that is perfect for getting through to dark days of winter!

    This is a beautiful, warm-hearted book that is perfect for getting through to dark days of winter! Its the story of a Monday night cooking class presided over by Lillian the chef of a romantic little restaurant. Lillian knows that each of her students come for a different reason. Some come for confidence, some for adventure, and some for comfort, but each will leave with wisdom and passion they never expected to find. <BR/>Erica Bauermeister writes about food with impressive detail and feeling. This is a book that will leave you hungry for lovingly prepared, delicious food! Her writing style reminds me of Maeve Binchy. She weaves together the stories of fascinating, sympathetic characters. You will fall in love with them! Like a big bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold January night this book will leaave you warm and satisfied. I only hope that Erica is hard at work on her next novel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2009

    Warm, wise, and eloquent

    The School of Essential Ingredients is a warm and compelling read. The students at the cooking school learn much more than how to cook: the teacher uses cooking as a strategy by which to address spiritual issues within her students. Bauermeister¿s eye for vivid detail and engaging voice will make you want to cook, eat, and read her next novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2014

    Amazing...it has been months since I read this and I still canno

    Amazing...it has been months since I read this and I still cannot quit thinking about it! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Nichole anf kyler

    Hi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Wonderful read!

    A friend gave me this book and I fell in love with it and have given it to others.
    In this book, a group of people take a cooking class, and the teacher proves as much counselor as cooking teacher. Descriptions of food are poetic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Ari

    *he growls.*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Brilliant

    Bauermeister is a brilliant author. Her books are stories, wonderful stories that tell about characters that are so real you expect to run into them on the block where you live. Their lives, and feelings all blend into a full course meal created with diverse ingredients of happiness, tears of pain, tears of joy, surprises from characters that grow and mature right in front of your eyes. She is an amazing author and a must read.

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  • Posted February 18, 2013

    Highly recommend !

    Loved this book! I adore cooking and this book made me think of cooking in a different light. Easy read. Already on to the next one by Erica Bauermeister!

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic little read

    Everything about this novel was an absolute delight. This would be a fantastic book to devour in a single grey day, snuggled up safe at home. Alas, I had to read it in fragments of stolen time while at work. Beautifully written and very easy to follow, this book made me happy cover to cover. Sometimes that happiness was comforting - a warm feeling spreading across my chest. Other times, the happiness was bittersweet, like a small stinging behind my eyes, followed by the personal familiarity of the characters feelings.

    No complex plot, no villain and no suspense...this book is simply about people. Nothing momentous happens, and the author leaves much to imagination - both within the body of the story and with the way it ends. But still...I can't think of anything that could have been done differently to improve upon it. It is a genuinely enjoyable book to know, nothing more and nothing less.

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  • Posted June 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful!!!

    Beautiful!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Highly rexommended

    I loved it! I wanted to sign up for a cooking class after I read this book not for the cooking but ecerything else! It is a must read?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Terrific!!

    I bought several because it is a wonderful Book Club selection!!

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Fun to Read, Very Enjoyable

    I read this book in a few hours because it was hard to put down, except to get some food. This book is inspiring and makes you hungry at the same time. Beautifully written, I highly recommend you read this book as well as her newest book, Joy for Beginners. Both are very fun and easy to read.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Silvia

    Good book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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