‘Blood, Bones & Butter’ by Gabrielle Hamilton - Review - The New York TimesRate this book. 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. 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.
Gabrielle Hamilton is fierce, passionate, straightforward; she is a romantic and a realist. She is a talented chef and writer. Madeleine moved to rural Vermont, and Gabrielle did not see her again for 20 years. And that, just like that, is how a whole life can start. It was, and is, a rich, exciting life that included extensive experience in catering, working as a waitress and as a cook in a summer camp.
After r. After returning to Manhattan, she opens Prune without any prior experience as a restaurant chef or manager. Considering that unorthodox employment record and her ambiguous feelings toward the industry , the decision to take on her own restaurant is puzzling. Filling in her storytelling would enable readers to make sense of it. Somewhere in there, she could have talked more about her transformation from hustling cocktail waitress to accomplished professional chef. Who besides her mother or what has influenced her, and how did she master her craft?
How did you come to write Blood, Bones and Butter? I spent the first three and a half years resisting, denying that I was writing a memoir and erasing two thirds of what I was writing because in every lit class I've ever taken the category of memoir is dismissed, demeaned, and considered weak, confessional, and "girly". Then I spent another six months savaging what little work I had managed to produce. Then I had a frank conversation with myself in which I admitted that I was not as talented as I wish I was. This gave me the permission to just do my absolute best within my limited skill set. I also made a commitment to write "hospitably", as I have been trained to be in the kitchen — to do everything I could to take care of and to serve the reader as I would take care of and serve a guest in my restaurant. In essence, I did everything I could to remove my own ego and apprehensions and just be the person who — metaphorically speaking — cooks the food and cleans up afterwards.
The restaurant she opened in downtown Manhattan in , Prune, has barely enough room for the 30 diners it squeezes in at brunch, lunch and dinner, and despite the reliable presence of dozens of additional customers waiting on the sidewalk, she has either escaped or resisted the itch for expansion that so many of her contemporaries scratch and scratch. Prune has no annex or uptown sibling; there is no Prune Dubai. Just this one cramped, irresistible nook with its scuffed floors, nicked tables and servers in pink. It owes something as well to her success as a woman in a field still dominated by men. For many years now, she has popped up in prominent publications as the author of eloquent, spirited glimpses into the heart, mind and sweaty labor of a chef. So the growing ranks of the restaurant-obsessed have been able to feast not only on her deviled eggs but also on her prose. After much anticipation, the inevitable memoir has arrived.
Thank you! This union that would provide her with something like the family she had lost decades earlier, but a marriage that would prove both turbulent and unconventional the couple had two children in their first seven years of marriage without living together. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.