Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

This book gathers together a group of eight people at Lillian's restaurant every Monday for a cooking class. We are thrust into the stories of each of these people's lives and how they came to be in the class, starting with Lillian, the teacher.

The descriptions in this book are dripping with words, almost excessively so. In fact, the overuse of similes becomes comical after a while, and then progresses to irritating. When just about every sentence ends with one, you start to question the judgment of the editor.

What I did enjoy about the book, however, was the care the author took to creating a character who cooks by feel rather than being chained to a recipe. It shows how food can be a pleasure rather than the typical frazzled wives and moms who struggle to get dinner on the table every night.

Cassandra Campbell narrates the audio version of this book and has a sensual, lustrous voice. Perfect for the food porn that is described in its pages. Just a word of warning though: the descriptions of food in this book can quickly fling you into a binge. Don't read or listen to this on an empty stomach. You will be sorry.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
First Published: January 2009
Pages: 256
Audience: Adult
Genre: Realistic Fiction

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