Blood, Bones & Butter

Blood, Bones & Butter is a memoir by Gabrielle Hamilton and it’s quite a read. Shocking in parts to say the least. (I’ll admit I ended up being not very fond of her.) It’s a real eye opener into the life of a well known, very popular chef who owns Prune restaurant in New York City. Gabrielle takes us through her life, from child to wife/mother with 2 children, with a hectic, stressful schedule all the while dealing with a “marriage of sorts” (he needed a green card) while openingly admitting she’s gay.  Got that? She learned the basics from her French mother who was a wonderful cook, and lateron at the farm table beside her Italian mother-in-law. How she kept up the pace of her life is a mystery to me. Her descriptions of the family’s annual vacation in Italy are beautiful. Buying and cooking the local food in the tiny kitchen with her mother-in-law holds special meaning to her, especially since she was never able to have a decent conversation with her because of language difficulties. They communicated through food. All the while the stress of a loveless, forced marriage hovers in the background. As well, over the years she developed an estranged relationship with her own mother. This book is a real eye opener into the world of a chef. But Gabrielle Hamilton isn’t just any chef. Still, anyone thinking of “getting into the business” should read this honest, brutal account of life in the kitchen. You’ll shake your head in wonder.

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