Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

77%

27 Critic Reviews

Her timing is perfect, her metaphor clear and her point indisputable.
-NY Times

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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.

 

About Gabrielle Hamilton

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Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef/owner of Prune restaurant in New York's East Village. She received an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and Food & Wine. Hamilton has also authored the 8-week Chef Column in The New York Times, and her work has been anthologized in six volumes of Best Food Writing. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and the Food Network, among other television. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by Random House. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Cooking, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 20 2011
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Critic reviews for Blood, Bones & Butter
All: 27 | Positive: 23 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 24 2011

After initially disdaining a career in food as one devoid of “meaning and purpose,” she finds both here.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by FRANK BRUNI on Mar 11 2011

Her timing is perfect, her metaphor clear and her point indisputable.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Feb 24 2011

There are some odd gaps and puzzling emotional elisions in this memoir.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Feb 07 2011

...an addictive memoir of her unorthodox trajectory to becoming a chef.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by nycdlq on May 13 2011

Hamilton’s compelling stories make great company.

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WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Michael Ruhlman on Feb 27 2011

...this book is every bit as rich and satisfying as the marrow bones the author roasts at Prune.

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NPR

Good
on Mar 20 2011

Blood, Bones & Butter is the sort of hard-edged restaurant memoir we've come to expect...

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NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer Reese on Mar 02 2011

...on the evidence of this spectacular book, what Hamilton really should have been doing all these years was writing.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Amy Wagner on Mar 25 2012

The gritty, resilient Hamilton has created a nourishing smorgasbord from a life well-lived in and out of the kitchen.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Penny Pleasance on Mar 01 2011

Ms. Hamilton is a great talent, both as a chef and as a writer.

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Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by Corrina Lothar on May 20 2011

There are wickedly funny moments, described by Ms. Hamilton with a saucy wit.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Christine Sismondo on Mar 07 2011

...the ideal culinary memoir to get us re-interested in the genre, because it’s exactly what the best of them used to be...

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Samantha Nelson on Apr 07 2011

...Gabrielle Hamilton spends a significant amount of her debut book channeling Bourdain. But she isn’t him...

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Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by Steve Weinberg on Feb 25 2011

...hundreds of superb paragraphs written about food. Blood, Bones and Butter is a memoir with enough sustenance for a lifetime.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by heathpie on Mar 07 2013

Personally, I had a bit of a problem with the final third of the book...some asides and anecdotes felt a little too personal. I almost felt like I was eavesdropping...

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Open Letters Monthly

Above average
Reviewed by Joanna Scutts on Mar 07 2013

...you’re getting a full, bracing three courses here, served exactly as the chef decides.

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Seattle PI

Excellent
on May 13 2011

To say that Hamilton writes well about food is an absurd understatement; I read the book in a near-constant state of salivation...

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The Roanoke Times

Above average
Reviewed by Nona Nelson on Mar 07 2013

...a satisfying a story of family and survival by a gifted writer...

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Austin Chronicle

Good
on May 27 2011

...it's an utterly compelling self-portrait told in terms of hunger, sustenance, and nurturing.

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Chicago Sun Times

Above average
Reviewed by Linda Wisniewski on Sep 10 2011

...an engrossing memoir about her "inadvertent education" as a "reluctant chef."

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Bookshelf Bombshells

Good
on Aug 02 2011

...Hamilton gives us not only a mesmerizing story of her wild, exuberant life but also something of a guide for how one might create and live one’s own.

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Time Out Chicago

Good
Reviewed by Jonathan Messinger on Mar 02 2011

... there is passion here, and a distinct joy that brightens Hamilton’s prose when she talks about the actual cooking and feeding of friends, campers or customers.

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Spectrum Culture

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Volk on Jun 19 2011

...Hamilton’s unique ability to render her journey in a way that is relatable to anyone that has walked the bumpy path...is what makes Blood, Bones and Butter so compelling.

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Serious Eats

Good
Reviewed by Lea Douglas on Feb 27 2011

...in the book's concluding pages, you realize that the non-culinary details have in fact told you everything about Gabrielle Hamilton's deep passion for eating, cooking, and providing for those she loves.

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Seattle Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Sonja Groset on Mar 02 2011

...her striking prose draws you in...

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Bay Area Bites

Below average
Reviewed by Stephanie Rosenbaum on Mar 01 2011

Hamilton is a smart and accomplished writer, but she seems exhausted or simply unwilling to reveal as much as a memoir demands, nor does she quite have a handle on the solid, novel-shaped arc and structure that the form requires at its best.

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FriendsEAT

Above average
Reviewed by Yasmin Cole on Mar 14 2011

...a writer who happens to be a great chef… or a chef who happens to be a great writer.

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Reader Rating for Blood, Bones & Butter
72%

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