Before I started to compose this blog post, I wanted to go to Gabrielle Hamilton’s restaurant, Prune’s homepage to view what her menu looked like and discover where it is in New York City, should I be going back in the near future. Much to my surprise, I realized that while just finishing the last page of Hamilton’s intriguing and unique memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter” and getting ready to start blogging, her website informed me that she’s having the launch of her new book in NYC tonight (March 2nd). So as she rejoices her accomplishment in her 10 years and running restaurant, I will join in the celebration (via my couch in my pj bottoms with a sleeve of saltines) and share with all of you lovely readers my thoughts and impressions about Gabrielle Hamilton’s entry into the world of food and how she came to own a successful restaurant in the heart of New York City.
I’ve never read a food memoir before, but from all the reviews I read, I knew I was going to be in for quite the experience. Not only is Gabrielle Hamilton a mastered chef today, but she’s also an accomplished writer. She studied English and learned the art of how to compose a great story and that’s exactly what she’s done in telling her story of growing up in PA and her transition into food and the art of cooking. As a child, Hamilton grew up as a young, idealistic little girl who is fascinated with her Mother’s cooking and the way she flows around the kitchen. However, things take a drastic turn when her parents decide their marriage isn’t working and her Mother leaves her and one of her siblings, her Father and an empty shelf of food. Having to learn to fend for herself and her Pippi Longstocking mentality, she gets involved in a world of lies and robbery. However, all of that begins to change when she begins working at a local tourist restaurant.
Hamilton’s quirky personality and love and care for food is demonstrated in each job she works, whether it be a cook at a summer camp, a caterer or working at a restaurant. The experience she learns from each of these jobs over the years is what make Hamilton so good at cooking, she has built a confidence in the kitchen. She has learned by watching. When offered the opportunity to open her restaurant, she doesn’t see the logistics in the decision, initially she visualizes the menu right down to the smallest detail. Her restaurant opens with rave reviews and has continued to strive over the years. We travel on this epic journey through failed relationships, marriage, children, vacations in Italy; all while being introduced to a variety of food and food techniques.
This memoir is heart warming and shows a lot of growth, in character and in palate. It’s a fabulous story and though I wasn’t thrilled with the cover, I urge you to open up this story of a talented chef and hear all about how she came to be recognized as one of the best chefs in New York City. *WARNING: Do not read on an empty stomach*