Books: The School of Essential Ingredients

Lately my reading material choices have been pretty deep. I needed to weave in something lighter. Weekly library visits have been a favorite treat for my daughters lately, and on one such trip I grabbed The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister on a whim. It is nearly a decade old, but I had never heard of it. It was a delightful, light surprise.


Bauermeister introduces us individually to the students in a cooking class as well as the class instructor, restaurant owner Lillian. I am not afraid to admit that I love food. Bauermeister’s descriptions of the food being prepared and enjoyed by the characters (the smell of pumpkin, the crispness of dry white wine) added a interesting touch to the story.

The book is short which means a lot of the story lines could have been further developed, but it also fit the bill for a quick read that I could devour during a few lunch breaks. Bauermeister wrote a sequel to the book called The Lost Art of Mixing. I plan to pick that one up next time I’m in the mood for a light, fun read.