Reminiscent of "Chocolat" and "Like Water for Chocolate," 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. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. 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. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian's food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. 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.
by Kelly Killoren
by Kelly Killoren
Published 2017 by Gallery Books Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781501136153
Set between the hip and idyllic farm-to-table foodie communities of the Hudson Valley, and the hotspots of Brooklyn, the Hamptons, and Manhattan, The Second Course follows four old friends struggling to find their footing in a rapidly changing world.
Food has always been Billy's language and her currency, but she isn't hungry anymore--and it's terrifying her. That is, until she attends a wedding and meets chef Ethan--an enigmatic powerhouse half her age. Billy is sure her life will never be the same, and she's right: she soon finds herself moving upstate to restart her culinary career with Ethan as her business partner--trading New York nightlife for hikes and foraging in the peaceful Hudson Valley. Back in the city, her three best friends, Lucy, Sarah, and Lotta each harbor secrets that threaten to tear their lives apart. Tensions are rising between the four women, and it will take one tragedy--and more than a few glasses of wine--for them to remember why they became friends in the first place. With the electrifying culinary prose of Stephanie Danler's Sweetbitter and the heart of Elisabeth Egan's A Window Opens, The Second Course is both a treat for the senses and an honest exploration of the shared conflicts, deep love and loyalty that bind a group of girlfriends together.
by Susan Wiggs
by Susan Wiggs
Published 2015 by Mira Books Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780778316992
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land's bounty yields a rich harvestand family secrets that have long been buried
Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the enchanting Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking schoola unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's projectand the perfect place for her to forget the past.
But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own."