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Extended Audio Sample The School of Essential Ingredients Audiobook, by Erica Bauermeister Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,710 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Erica Bauermeister Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781101015124
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Once a month on Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian’s restaurant for a cooking class. Over time, the paths of the students mingle and intertwine, and the essence of Lillian’s cooking expands beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of their lives, with results that are often unexpected, and always delicious.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Cassandra Campbell’s exquisite, sensuous vocal tones set the mood for The School of Essential Ingredients…This work enchants and inspires…Campbell sweetly and deliberately speaks to the sensations of cookery and taste.”

    AudioFile

  • “Bauermeister creates a captivating world where the pleasures and particulars of sophisticated food come to mean much more than simple epicurean indulgence…Delivering memorable story lines and characters while seducing the senses, Bauermeister’s tale of food and hope is certain to satisfy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Selected for the February 2009 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 1/30/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy cooking, you'll live this. It makes you look at food in a new light. Inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 1/21/2014

    " This is a must read! I loved this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn Dockey | 1/19/2014

    " As therapeutic to read as it was for the characters in her cooking class. Made me want to spend more time cooking "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christy | 1/14/2014

    " Beautifully descriptive! Nothing to bog down the story line. It plays out nicely. Really enjoyed it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ana | 1/4/2014

    " This was the perfect book to read in September! As a school teacher it was everyting I needed in the busy month of school starting. I really liked this book. It was the chick flick that I needed to read about and find my love of reading again after having an entire summer off. If you love cooking and reading you'll enjoy how Bauermeister's words just make you want to eat well! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ays | 12/25/2013

    " because i love to cook,i appreciate the way this was narrated.the description of ingredients they used in their classes was very good.but i think there were too many individual stories about the students' lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan | 12/16/2013

    " Loved every page until the very end. I thought it stopped very abruptly - but if you love food, you will love parts of this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tami Greaney | 12/16/2013

    " No real plot - more of a character study. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 12/13/2013

    " Good story. Liked how each chapter was told from a different person's point of view. made me want to learn to cook - maybe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty Vela | 12/12/2013

    " I LOVED this book! It is a quick read; but one that you want to take in slowly. The characters are rich and real. You will want to run, not walk, to your local cooking school and only hope for such a profound experience! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craroline | 10/26/2013

    " Some of the character studies were believable and some were not. It was absorbing in the moment, nostalgic, and fast-paced, and it made me want to make tiramisu. A nice light read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina H. | 9/6/2013

    " This is a book to read when you want some peace and calmness. The characters are believable; the setting is comfortable, and it leaves you wanting to know more about all the different relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 1/1/2013

    " Filled with prose. Did you know that when you beat egg whites at a high speed they giggled. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JoAnne | 9/4/2012

    " Lovely -- I was warmed by this tale. The magic began with the teacher but extended to each member of the class. If there were such a place and time, I would subscribe to the magic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz Schubert | 7/28/2012

    " Nice book, soft story about a culinary class and the students individual stories. I like cooking so found the food descriptions dreamy in parts. Fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy Weissman | 4/30/2012

    " Beautifully written. Took a few pages to get into, but then was a very fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/16/2012

    " I want to take cooking lessons from "Lilian". Each character is given one chapter- makes the book very enjoyable and easy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Dunn | 1/27/2012

    " I can still smell the garlic and taste the wine.. like a spicey stew bubbling on the stove on a rainy night "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelagh Moul | 7/5/2011

    " lovely. reminded me to love cooking again and that I used to TAKE COOKING classes in my free time! What fun those where. I could smell and see the kitchens and the surroundings. Lovely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordana | 6/26/2011

    " Beautifully written. Easy read. A good pick-me-up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adita | 5/21/2011

    " I loved this book. You do not even have to be a foodie to appreciate the lyrical prose, touching stories, and endless sensuality. It is one of my new favorite books. I will likely even read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 5/15/2011

    " I've heard so many people describe this book as I have, simply beautiful writing. I don't know why I connected to this writing so much. It was just a beautiful book that was uplifting and touched my heart. A must read when life just needs to feel good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 5/14/2011

    " I am in the middle of 3 non-fiction books (that mostly put me to sleep.)
    This was a really sweet interruption. Cute story that made me hungry for healthy food. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arlene | 5/12/2011

    " This book is a deceptively simple and easy read. However there are little epiphanies for the reader; little twists and plots; character's self realizations and discoveries throughout this book that make it memorable. This is also why it would be a great selection for a book club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dls | 5/12/2011

    " This is the best first book I've read in a long time. Really touching, funny and luscious to read. People who like Barbara O'Neil will like these. (I'mnot sure what to make of this relatively new subgenre of cooking fiction. But I enjoy it!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chesapeake | 5/9/2011

    " Loved it. It is about a lady that runs a cooking school and starts with a disparate group of students and at the end their lives are intertwined and better for knowing each other. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexasapp | 5/8/2011

    " A very simple but beautifully written story of a cooking class and its participants. Short and sweet, I did not want to let it go! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 5/5/2011

    " I loved this book. I love to cook, and would love to participate in this type of class, become someone like Lillian, and own that type of restaurant. Perfect soul food for me; great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allerina | 4/30/2011

    " Really great book. Lovely stories (and varied) and great desccriptions of the dishes from each class. Made we want to make he dishes I was reading about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 4/30/2011

    " This was a light read, but I really liked it. I thought it was very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/29/2011

    " I really liked how each character or couple was given a chapter, i.e., a lesson at cooking class, that gave them exactly what their life needed. The stories were so varied that this book has something for everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/28/2011

    " 4.5 out of 5. this book is pretty wonderful. the way the author wove words together to combine the intricate life of 8 different people altogether into one is just so effortless. the depiction of the characters and food is so artful and enchanting. "

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About the Author
Author Erica BauermeisterERICA BAUERMEISTER is the author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy for Beginners. She lives in Seattle with her family.
About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.