The school of essential ingredients

I picked this book just because I wanted to read something different. I was bored of reading similar kinds of books. This was a genre that I had not explored so I thought why not. I ordered Chocolat and this book, both based on cooking and food just to see if I will like the genre. Both books were good but not mind blowing. They were not so good that I would want to read more books in this genre.

The writing and the language was beautiful in this book.
Some quotes were good like –

“He knew that not all sticks in a nest are straight.”
“Every meal you eat, you eat time.”

“One of the essential lessons in cooking is how extraordinary the simplest foods can be when they are prepared with care and the freshest ingredients”
“Life is beautiful. Some people just remind you of that more than others.”

“It makes everything a possibility, if you don’t know the answer.”

I had different kind of expectations from this book, considering it is a story about a cooking class. I thought it would deal more with the chemistry of students and the teacher in the cooking class. I also thought it might be a fun read. But the book was pretty serious and most part of the book dealt with story outside the cooking class.

There are 8 people who attend the cooking class and the book kind of deals with the life and problems faced by these people. I don’t know in what way the cooking class helped them resolve their personal issues. Anyway, it is a light read and some stories are pretty good too. I liked stories of Antonia, Chloe and Helen. So I am glad I picked this book.

It also reminded me of the two cooking classes that hubby and I took, just for fun. One was salads and veggie class and the other was a pasta class. Only one woman had come with her husband in one of the classes and in the other, a woman brought her son along with her. Mostly women came to the class and they were all friendly. We chit chatted with a few people with whom we shared our table. We even cooked with few people and it was fun. Cooking classes can actually be fun. Everything from students washing their hands at the sink to cooking together on a dish and then eating what they cooked, reminded me of our classes. When I read about Carl and Helen, it reminded me of us. 🙂

You could learn everything about a couple just watching the kitchen choreography as they prepared dinner.

I think I agree as we have lots of fun when husband and I cook together.

I am in love with the book cover. The prettiest cover I have seen –


I found recipes at the author’s website –


8 thoughts on “The school of essential ingredients

Add yours

  1. The cover is really lovely! Love the drama going on the cover!

    I am actually weird in the kitchen. More solo! But I guess I should try cooking with the hubby once. Might be fun! 🙂


  2. How interesting!! I have never taken a cooking class before! we should try it eh? 🙂
    Have placed the book on hold at the library.


  3. I agree, I too had some expectations from the food fiction genre but, I love the films based on it. Have you watched Chocolat.. I find it nicer that the book although there are many whom I know who love the book to the film. As Preeti said, the book cover has a potential for drama… a stair that leads to elsewhere, may be a different class, people passing by can peep into through the window to see what is cooking.. may be waft of the ingredients will pull them back to the window.. and watch, not like a fly on the wall, but watch none the less what goes on.. !


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