Blood, Bones & Butter, the memoir from Prune chef-owner Gabrielle Hamilton, doesn’t come out until March. Having read an advance copy, we can attest to its considerable quality — it’s worth reading alone for the chapter in which Hamilton is asked to speak on a Culinary Institute of America panel about what it means to be a woman chef (sample audience question: “Is it OK to cry?”).
So we heartily recommend picking up a copy of this week’s New Yorker, which contains an excerpt of much of the first chapter of Hamilton’s book. It details the springtime lamb roasts the chef’s parents held throughout her childhood, lavish, all-day-and-night events held on the grounds of the sprawling, decaying old mill where Hamilton was raised. Her account of the preparations for the party is vivid and transporting, and also describes the tensions that would set the stage for her parents’ divorce and her own wild adolescence, replete with drug use, stolen cars, and menial kitchen labor.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 10, 2011