November 28, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef - by Gabrielle Hamilton
A memoir that flings open the kitchen door to expose the backbreaking toil and passionate obsession of a world-class chef. — Karen Holt
Gabrielle Hamilton's childhood home in rural Pennsylvania, with her four siblings and her parents who threw grand parties (hundreds of guests came to enjoy the pigeon pies and baby lambs roasted over wood fires), was thrilling , magnificent. But when her parents divorced and the family scattered, Gabrielle was left, aged thirteen, almost alone in the empty house for the summer. Forced to fend for herself, she drew on the hours spent watching her adored mother at the stove, and got a kitchen job in the nearest town. The riotous years that followed were full of hard graft, hard living and many far-flung kitchens. In New York, and with rent to pay, Gabrielle spent years working in soulless catering factories, then found herself graduating with a creative writing degree, opening a restaurant and entering into an unlikely and flawed marriage with an Italian man. Every summer they take their two boys to the family home, and her beloved mother-in-law, in Puglia. Gabrielle gives us the stories - gritty and intimate - of the people, places and meals that have shaped her journey. Unflinchingly honest, moving, funny, sharply crafted - "Blood, Bones & Butter" is a rollicking, passionate story about food, purpose and family. Not only is Gabrielle Hamilton one of America's most recognised chefs, she is also set to make her mark as an uncompromising literary talent.