Gabrielle Hamilton Talks to Us About Her Book, BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER - The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef!
BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER marks the debut of a tremendous literary talent. As intelligent and uncompromising as it is passionate and evocative, this is an unconventional story about food, purpose, and family—the profound moments of satisfaction in life when we have all three and the sharp emptiness we experience when none are within our reach.
Gabrielle’s childhood home in a burnt-out nineteenth-century silk mill in rural Pennsylvania was the lush setting for her parents’ elaborate parties, where pigeon pies were eaten and whole baby lambs were roasted over wood fires while beer and wine chilled in a nearby creek. Her father (a theatrical set designer) transformed their home with refrigerator-sized cartons of fake snow, dry ice machine fog, and stacks of Kilim rugs depending on the party's theme.
However, the magical childhood abruptly ended when her rigidly disciplined mother (a former ballerina who "spent the day in a good skirt, high heels, and an apron") announced to her Bohemian, dreamy husband that she was finished with the marriage. A hasty and slip-shod dismantling of the family of seven left a pre-adolescent Gabrielle and just one of her brothers alone in the empty house for the summer. Under sudden financial distress, outfitted in shoplifted clothes and "hastily grazing through the menu of adult behavior" she quickly took up smoking and walked a mile down the train tracks to the touristy town of New Hope to find a job in a restaurant.
The tumultuous years that followed included a move to Hell’s Kitchen at age sixteen and a job as a nightclub waitress where she cheated the owners out of tens of thousands of dollars, most of them spent on drugs. Between attempts to graduate college, Gabrielle traveled the world and during these money-strapped explorations learned the lessons that hunger can impart—among them, that being picked up and fed, often by strangers, when you are in a state of fear and hunger is the single most important and convincing food experience.
Upon her return to New York, she spent countless soulless hours working in catering factories, struggling between the impulse to break away from a food-centered life to do something “meaningful” and the pull of the satisfying and practical work of the kitchen. Readers accompany Gabrielle from her time in the Midwest getting an MFA to the launch of her celebrated East Village restaurant Prune and from an unlikely marriage to a somewhat incompatible Italian man to the annual trips with her children to her husband’s family’s seaside villa in Puglia.
While filled with gorgeous passages, Hamilton’s story is neither sweet nor acerbic, and does not, for a moment, glide over the difficulties of working in the food industry nor the profound disappointments of a flawed marriage. Instead, it simply offers these stories with unvarnished honesty, grit, and passion that are at once both epic and intimate, provoking us to consider how we approach our meals and our families—the ones we’re born into, the ones we make with our partners and children, and the ones that are born of work and sweat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef/owner of Prune restaurant in New York City’s East Village. She received an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Michigan and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, GQ, Bon Appetit, Saveur magazine, and Food & Wine. She has also authored the 8-week Chef’s Column in the New York Times and her work has been anthologized in six volumes of Best Food Writing. She has appeared on Martha Stewart and the Food Network, among other television programs. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.
Chef Kevin Roberts Tells Us About His Newest Restaurants and His New Book, Kissing in the Kitchen!
Celebrity Chef Kevin Roberts recently opened his fourth San Diego area restaurant – North County Tavern & Bowl in Escondido. Kevin is also the Executive Chef at East Village Tavern & Bowl, PB Shore Club and East Lake Tavern & Bowl. In addition, he’s a national TV & radio personality and has previously appeared on Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star,” THE TODAY SHOW, CBS The Early Show, BETTER TV and Sirius/XM Radio. He is recently appeared as national host of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters Season II and in January travelled to the Super Bowl where he was invited to cook-up his signature wings served at his popular sports bars. Kevin is also the author of two cookbooks, Kissing in the Kitchen –Kissing with Passion and Munchies.
For more info on Kevin, check out munchiestv.com!
What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:
Ellen Schack, CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream Tells Us How Her Ice Cream Made the World Scream for More!
Cowabunga Ice Cream was originally founded to give the Jersey Shore community a friendly place to gather and enjoy high-caliber classic and healthy frozen desserts. As word spread about the taste and quality of Cowabunga ice cream, the company inspired to offer its unique approach to ice cream on a national level.
Today, Cowabunga Ice Cream is known as the world’s first designer ice cream offering a luxe epicure experience that leaves consumers longing for more. In addition to its bevy of beloved ice cream flavors, Cowabunga also offers healthy frozen yogurts containing probiotics - the natural way to promote healthy digestion. The company’s ice cream and ice cream cakes are also available in bulk orders for special events.
Those who’ve experienced Cowabunga Ice Cream rave not only about its bold, creative flavors, but also the fresh and creamy taste said to make other “premium” ice creams taste “day old.” New York Times best selling author Omar Tyree has proclaimed Cowabunga as “the Louis Vutton of ice cream,” while ActionCOACH business consultant Steve Vorrius declared, “Once you taste this ice cream you will never look at ice cream the same again.”