18 June 2010

REVIEW: The School of Essential Ingredients by E. Bauermeister

Title:  The School of Essential Ingredients
Author:  E. Bauermeister
Genre / Pages:  Fiction,  Food / 258
Publication: Berkley Trade, 2010
Rating:  2nd shelf  
Source:  My lovely Aunt Terri
lj's plot in one pot:  Various cooking students work through life's gifts and challenges through Lillian, the head chef / cooking instructor / unknowingly 'life coach'.

This book was given to me during a really rough time in my young life and so I hope I can be objective and not too lovey-dovey with this text.  It is a sweet collection of glimpses into different peoples' lives, artfully woven together through their interactions in a cooking class.  Bauermeister attaches each student / character an ingredient that is fitting to their struggles in life.  The most fitting, in my opinion, is the section about Isabelle, an elderly lady who is battling Alzheimer's Disease; she is paired with sage.  

The text is pretty and savoury - I wanted to both see the places the author invites the reader to, and I wanted to eat (or at least smell) the food the students prepare together.  I would recommend this book to foodies, as well as anyone who has fought for (or against) something in their life - I guess that would probably mean everyone!  The reason I didn't give this text a higher rating was that it just isn't my genre of choice.  There was little plot, a lot of details are (intentionally) left out, some details were overbearing in their presence.  In short, I can appreciate this text, I can safely offer it up to many people, I enjoyed it to some extent, but whether I would seek out this author again is still up in the air.  

"Sometimes, nina, our greatest gifts grow from what we are not given." p.30
Interested in more info?  Check out the author's website here

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