The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

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From the book flap: . . . a gorgeously written novel about life, love, and the magic of food. The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen.

Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives.

Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.
The School of Essential Ingredients is a feast for the senses. Erica Bauermeister’s writing is lyrical, though not flowery. Her words flow easily as she describes the impact of ingredients on recipes just as decisions and actions impact the students’ lives. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.