Thursday, December 12, 2019

Book Review- The School of Essential Ingredients

Are you looking for a good book to read that is just a bit different?  The School of Essential Ingredients has a delightful main character, an interesting take on cooking and a look into the lives of a wide variety of cooking students.
a pile of red apples
Apples are one of my Favorite Basic Ingredients

When our book club picked this book to read for the monthly meeting, I was not sure if I would like it.  I enjoy a good mystery or historical fiction and this book did not fit into either of these molds.  However, it only took me one chapter to get hooked on this book.  The author has such an interesting way of writing that I instantly got involved in the book.

Lillian, the main character owns a restuarant and conducts a cooking school in the back rooms.  She has a very unique way of cooking that instantly got me interested.  She didn't use recipes but rather concentrated on the basic ingredients for each dish and explored with her students how to make the most of the ingredients.  Lillian surely was a true artist when it came to her cooking.  She had a way of making everything magical and made me want to get in my kitchen and experiment.

The book is set up with a chapter for each student of the cooking class.  As the dish for that evening is explored we also learn a little bit about each of the students and why they came to the class to start with.  Each student had their own story and they were a very diverse group.  Lillian not only had a way with the food but also with each of her students.  She seemed to bring out the best in people and helped them to explore the situations in their lives.

I don't want to spoil the story line for you.  But I will tell you if you enjoy cooking and reading you must try this book.  I highly recommend it.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. It isn't my usual genre, but I mostly look for books with exceptional writing and creativity (and inspiration). I will definitely check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation. Always appreciated.

  2. Sounds like a delightful book, most especially for people who love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. I must recommend this to my daughter, as she not only loves to read, she fits the 'cook & experiment' part.

  3. Thanks Elf, I bet your daughter would love this book.

  4. You had me with if you enjoy cooking and reading! Bookmarked!

  5. Well, this definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy reading! I like to cook and experiment with ingredients until a recipe is a dish that my family will love. Who knows, maybe I would learn something new to try while reading this book too. Thanks for the review and recommendation.

  6. This is right up my interest alley. I'm interested in cooking, even though I rarely do it anymore. Since I hardly use recipes anymore, I've also learned to do my own thing in the kitchen. I'm sure I'd enjoy this one.

  7. What an interesting idea for a novel! As someone who enjoys cooking and rarely sticks to a recipe as written (when I use one at all), I'm sure I'd enjoy this. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Okay this is a whole new genre for me, but you have piqued my interest. I enjoy cooking (wouldn't call it love), so making things without "true recipes" is my kind of book. That's the part that gets me going, when I decide to make something and I'm missing one ingredient. Sounds like this book would be right up my alley. Thanks Mary Beth, I'm already looking forward to reading it.

  9. Thank you everyone for your comments. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Happy Reading.

  10. The School of Essential Ingredients sounds like a fun book, Mary Beth. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. This sounds awesome. I know I'd enjoy this book - what a great gift idea as well. Hmmm, may have to order this one.

  12. Occasionally I take a break from the "tough" books I typically read. This sounds like a book I'd like to read during one of those breaks. Thank you for this review. I'm adding it to my wish list for later.


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