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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef [Paperback]

Gabrielle Hamilton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 24 2012

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Miami Herald • Newsday The Huffington Post • Financial Times • GQ • Slate • Men’s Journal • Washington Examiner • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • National Post • The Toronto Star • BookPage • Bookreporter

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, humor, and passion.

Features a new essay by Gabrielle Hamilton at the back of the book

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Frequently Bought Together

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef + Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
Price For Both: CDN$ 28.88


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Product Description

From Amazon

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: Gabrielle Hamilton's memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, is just what a chef's story should be--delectable, dripping with flavor, tinged with adrenaline and years of too-little sleep. What sets Hamilton apart, though, is her ability to write with as much grace as vitriol, a distinct tenderness marbling her meaty story. Hamilton spent her idyllic childhood on a wild farm in rural Pennsylvania with an exhilarant father--an artist and set builder--and French mother, both "incredibly special and outrageously handsome." As she entered her teens, however, her family unexpectedly dissolved. She moved to New York City at 16, living off loose change and eating ketchup packets from McDonald’s; worked 20-hour days at a soulless catering company; traveled, often half-starved, through Europe; and cooked cooked for allergy-riddled children at a summer camp. The constant thread running through this patchwork tale, which culminates with the opening of her New York City restaurant, Prune, is Hamilton's slow simmering passion for cooking and the comfort it can bring. "To be picked up and fed, often by strangers, when you are in that state of fear and hunger, became the single most important food experience I came back to over and over," Hamilton writes, and it's this poignant understanding of the link between food and kindness that makes Blood, Bones & Butter so satisfying to read. --Lynette Mong --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Dazzling . . . brilliantly written . . . [Hamilton] is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Rhapsodic, profane, wonderful . . . A fabulously talented writer-cook, Gabrielle Hamilton is also a contrarian one, and you never know quite what will come next.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Hamilton’s writing about food is so vivid it could make you half-crazed with hunger, leaving you in front of the open fridge with a cold chicken leg in one hand and the book in the other.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Luminous . . . [Readers will] marvel at Hamilton’s masterly facility with language.”—The Washington Post
 
“The author/chef is an original—tough, tender, gritty, dreamy. . . . She has written Blood, Bones & Butter with her whole, generous heart.”—The Miami Herald
 
“Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever.”—Anthony Bourdain


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars the Great Chef! Dec 10 2013
By Ruftara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The initial third of this was funny, engaging and even enjoyable but on the whole, I hated the story. I found it tedious to read, pedantic and even arrogant at times. I kept asking myself who wants to know. The only reason I read the book is because it was recommended to our book club. Not sure why. Whist her ability to write is not in question, but the ability to lead the reader through her narrative is. At times I found myself drowning in a sea of verbiage and not sure where the narrative was taking me. The book reminds me of an apple pie which had first class ingredients but was spoil by being cooked at a super low temperature!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Food Searching for Family Oct. 31 2013
By Donald McKenzie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Hamilton, Gabrielle First Edition. First Edition [2012]

The front cover of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, contains a rather fulsome blurb from celebrity food writer and chef, Anthony Bourdain. I can't say that I share Mr. Bourdain's enthusiasm in its entirety, but this is indeed a great food memoir.

One of the things that makes it great is that it's messy. I'm not referring to Hamilton's personal history so much, although that is fairly convoluted, but more the way the book is organized. It jumps back and forth in time and place, but in a way that feels quite natural.

Anyone telling their story will of course self edit. However, as we tell our stories we often realize that we have left out a part we need to include because an earlier event helps to clarify the later event we are describing. Such a writing styles lends a level of authenticity to Ms. Hamilton's writing.

Blood, Bones & Butter, begins with Hamilton telling the story of the annual lamb roast that was the centerpiece of her growing-up years as the child of artist parents. It was an idyllic experience, which when ended sets her on a search to recover that idyll.

The rest of the book deals with her search. It's a search that takes her from being an underage server, through to a criminal record, to student, cook, and restaurant owners, Along the way there are many romances, mostly with women, and what I would describe as a rather odd sort of marriage, to a man.

Through the search, it is food that continually serves as the continuing link. It is in food that Ms.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blood, Bones & Butter is Brilliant! July 9 2013
Format:Paperback
This book was a great read! From the moment I picked it up I was hooked, I stayed up way to late eating up all this book and author had to offer me. This book doesn't just stay in the heat of the kitchen, it moves throughout a life that lead to the kitchen, through all the ups and downs that bring people to the place that they are most at home, the place they are meant to be. Love love love this book and would recommend it to anyone.
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