Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (Hardcover)
By Gabrielle Hamilton
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"I wanted the lettuce and eggs at room temperature . . . the butter-and-sugar sandwiches we ate after school for snack . . . the marrow bones my mother made us eat as kids that I grew to crave as an adult. . . . There would be no 'conceptual' or 'intellectual' food, just the salty, sweet, starchy, brothy, crispy things that one craves when one is actually hungry. In ecstatic farewell to my years of corporate catering, we would never serve anything but a martini in a martini glass. Preferably gin."
Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton's ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors. The smells of spit-roasted lamb, apple wood smoke, and rosemary garlic marinade became as necessary to her as her own skin.
Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton's own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.
Blood, Bones & Butter is an unflinching and lyrical work. Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion. By turns epic and intimate, it marks the debut of a tremendous literary talent.
About the Author
Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef/owner of Prune restaurant in New York’s East Village. She received an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and Food & Wine. Hamilton has also authored the 8-week Chef Column in The New York Times, and her work has been anthologized in six volumes of Best Food Writing. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and the Food Network, among other television. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.
Praise for Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef…
“Dazzling . . . brilliantly written . . . [Hamilton] is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Rhapsodic, profane, wonderful . . . A fabulously talented writer-cook, Gabrielle Hamilton is also a contrarian one, and you never know quite what will come next.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Hamilton’s writing about food is so vivid it could make you half-crazed with hunger, leaving you in front of the open fridge with a cold chicken leg in one hand and the book in the other.”—The Boston Globe
“Luminous . . . [Readers will] marvel at Hamilton’s masterly facility with language.”—The Washington Post
“The author/chef is an original—tough, tender, gritty, dreamy. . . . She has written Blood, Bones & Butter with her whole, generous heart.”—The Miami Herald
“Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever.”—Anthony Bourdain