Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The School of Essential Ingredients

Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where readers share a bit about what they're reading or thinking about reading. It's really fun, and anyone can join in.

My selection is The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (2009).

From the back cover of the book:

"Once a month on a Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by a loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect.

The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And, one by one, they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create . . . "

Here is the opening:

"Lillian loved best the moment before she turned on the lights. She would stand in the restaurant kitchen doorway, rain-soaked air behind her, and let the smells come to her--ripe sourdough yeast, sweet-dirt coffee, and garlic, mellowing as it lingered. Under them, more elusive, stirred the faint essence of fresh meat, raw tomatoes, cantaloupe, water on lettuce. Lillian breathed in, feeling the smells move about and through her, even as she searched out those that might suggest a rotting orange at the bottom of a pile, or whether the new assistant chef was still double-dosing the curry dishes. She was. The girl was a daughter of a friend and good enough with knives, but some days, Lillian thought with a sigh, it was like trying to teach subtlety to a thunderstorm."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. Oh, this one sounds delicious! I haven't read her other book yet, either. Thanks for sharing...and enjoy. Here's mine: “ONE PLUS ONE”

  2. Love cooking and have taken lots of cooking classes, so I loved that opening paragraph! I'd keep reading.

  3. I loved this on audio... hope you enjoy it, too!

  4. I have heard wonderful things about this one. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. I'd keep reading, it sounds a lovely read!

  6. I really enjoyed this book. I sure hope you do too.

  7. I love this beginning, it is beautifully written. I feel like I'm right there with her. Kelley at the road goes ever ever on