The School of Essential Ingrdients and The Lost Art of Mixing by: Erica Bauermeister

Keeping with my theme of reading books that dealt with food for November, I read this duology that I purchased from

In the first book we learn about Lillian, the owner of a restaurant that runs a cooking class when the restaurant is closed on Mondays.  Lillian grew up with a mother who seemed to suffer from depression and Lillian tried everything to “get her mother back”.  She cooked many different types of meals and through that experience, came to love food.  She decided to run cooking classes and throughout this book we learn about the lives of the students that take that class.

The sequel focuses on Chloe,  a chef in Lillian’s restaurant; Lillian and the lives of a few people that they are associated with.  The cooking classes are really not discussed in this book.  This story is mostly about love, friendship and of course, food.

I absolutely loved the first book in this duology.  The characters and their experiences both in and out of the cooking classes really made me feel as if this was a class I belonged to.  It is beautifully written, and deliciously detailed.  I gave this book 5 crowns.


The sequel was written beautifully as well but I missed the original characters and wanted to read more about them.  I didn’t know that the majority of the first cast of characters wasn’t really a part of the book.  Although, I enjoyed this book as well, I gave it 4 crowns.


I would definitely recommend the first book to a book group who would be interested in cooking while discussing it.  I think that would make for a wonderful night.




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