Picks and Pans Review: The School of Essential Ingredients

updated 02/09/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/09/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Erica Bauermeister

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REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

NOVEL
Food Network fans will devour this first novel about a whimsical cooking school run by a gentle chef with a fierce passion for food. Lillian's classes are more celebration than lesson: She talks to ingredients ("Okay, my pretties") and rhapsodizes over the "waterfall of white" as sugar drifts into butter in her mixer. But Lillian's more than a chef, and for the students whose lives intersect in her kitchen—as well as for readers—her healing warmth lingers long after the last bite of tiramisu.

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