Find copies of Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton on AbeBooks:
Food memoirs are one of my literary passions. I'd heard many great things about Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton before finally reading it. For example, Anthony Bourdain said it was the best memoir written by a chef. Ever. High praise, indeed.
Gabrielle Hamilton runs a restaurant in New York called Prune, but she spent 25 years working up to being an owner-chef and this book details those years.
Like all good food memoirs, Blood, Bones and Butter goes way beyond cooking and eating. It's an insight into people. It's very honest and I knew it was going to be a good one after about four pages.
Hamilton describes the kitchen of her French mother, the kitchen of her Italian mother in law, the kitchen of her own restaurant and lots of kitchens on the journey in between.
She describes moving to New York at 16 and working 20-hour days for catering companies. She provides a fascinating insight into the cooking large scale functions - next time you're at a wedding and tucking into the chicken, think about how many hands it has gone through. She also describes cooking for the allergy-ridden generation of children at a summer camp. This book is not your typical memoir from your typical restaurant-based chef.
Hamilton did not simply sit down and write the book between shifts over the stove, - she studied writing at the University of Michigan and it paid off. If the recommendations of Anthony Bourdain and I count for nothing, then please consider that this book won the James Beard Foundation award for Writing and Literature in 2012, and those James Beard folks know their onions.