A memoir by the chef-owner of Prune in New York City’s East Village.
I loved Blood, Bones, and Butter, and not just because I have eaten at Prune. Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir is more than just a restaurant tale–it’s an eyewitness account of the gentrification of both New York City, and of a street smart, fearless woman with a work ethic you just won’t believe.
My favorite section of the book was an extended musing on what it means to be a “woman chef.” Few people have articulated so well the dilemma of every woman working in a man’s world, expressing a simple desire for the game to just go away. In many ways, cooking is a pure meritocracy, but not enough people see it that way and still persist in playing the same games of gender politics. The food should be all that anyone talks about, yet women and men alike still want to rate one sex as superior to the other, by saying equally dumb thinks like “She’s a good woman chef” or “Women have superior palates.” Neither gets anybody anywhere.
It helps that Hamilton’s life is riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and look forward to discussing it with my foodie friends.