May 23, 2011

Blood, Bones & Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton

Gabrielle Hamilton's restaurant Prune was on my "to eat" list when I went to New York City, but I didn't make it there. Next time! Despite my interest in her food, I wasn't too interested in reading her book, at least not until I starting reading rave reviews of it everywhere. Her story sounded intriguing, so I got it from the library, my hold coming in the same day as Grant Achatz's book. (Since I didn't have time to read both and couldn't renew Achatz's book, back it had to go. I've re-requested it.)

I had my doubts about a book written by a chef, but this particular chef also has a master's degree in creative writing. She is awesome at it. Her book is divided into 3 sections. The first, "Blood", is about her growing up, raised in a ramshackle old house by a French mother and artistic American father, both of who effectively abandoned her when they divorced when she was just 13. She started working in restaurants and got into some trouble. The fact that she was able to pull herself out of it and make such a success of herself is impressive. "Bones" is about her opening her restaurant, which is terrifically interesting and not as glamourous as you might think. "Butter" is about her green card marriage to an older Italian doctor, with whom she had 2 children. Since she's a lesbian, I found all the stuff about her tumultuous marriage intriguing, and I'm sure there's a lot left unsaid. It's mostly about their summers in Italy, and oh! what summers. Great read.

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