The inadvertent education of a reluctant chef
By Gabrielle Hamilton
“Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever. Gabriel Hamilton packs more heart, soul, and pure power into one beautifully crafted page than I’ve accomplished in my entire writing career. ‘Blood, bones and butter’ is the work of an uncompromising chef and a prodigiously talented writer. I am choked with envy.” Anthony Bourdain
“ Gabrielle Hamilton has changed the potential and raised the bar for all books about eating and cooking. Her nearly rabid love for all real food experience and her completely vulnerable, unprotected yet pure point of view unveils itself in both truth and inspiration. I will read this book to my children and then burn all the books I have written for pretending to be anything even close to this. After that I will apply for the dishwasher job at Prune to learn from my new queen.”
“It’s challenging enough to be a good chef, but to be a fine writer as well as an even more remarkable feat. Gabrielle Hamilton approaches storytelling the same way he does cooking – with thoughtful creativity that delights the senses. The stories she tells here are every bit as enjoyable as the wonderful food she cooks daily at Prune.
Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. 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; 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 prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends. By turns epic and intimate, Gabrielle Hamilton’s story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humour, and passion.
Gabrielle Hamilton’s book is an absolute must-read for any writer. The finished dish, her memoir, is a verbal ode to a great writer-chef. Her ingredients, sentences that are as unique and potent as any spice she uses in her kitchen. Each ingredient confirms this chef as being a polished, experienced and skilled practitioner of her verbal preparations, each one cooked to verbal perfection like the meals she likely prepares in her restaurant or at home for her family.
Like a Cordon Bleu school graduate who has the credentials to confirm her culinary skills, Hamilton’s academic credentials confirm that she has learned and polished her craft as a writer. The writer-reader should slowly savour every sentence as each is loaded with verbal taste, exotic literary flavour and delightfully delicious composition that will not only astound the cerebral palette but amaze the intellectual senses. It is a book that will astound and awe the writer-reader with every single phrase. Like her cooking, the creativity is obvious but even more so, the work and effort in composing each sentence is evident. It is more than a verbal buffet of astounding excellence; it is a banquet of verbal creativity that confirms her as being a master of her crafts.
Read her book to savour what good writing is, what it entails and what it can be when you take the time to work creativity into your verbal recipe.