Just Finished: Blood, Bones & Butter

Blood, Bones & Butter¬† by Gabrielle Hamilton is a pretty good book. While I was reading it, in the beginning I felt like I was reading my new most favorite book, but after it ended, my opinion had changed. It’s a chef memoir – is that a genre yet? the chefmoir or something? – so if you already like restaurant books, then pick it up for sure.

The story of her early life is amazing, her catering career fascinating, her restaurant opening interesting and her life choices off-putting. Honestly, if the book had ended when she opened Prune, this would be a five star review. She was raised by a French mother and an artist father in a ramshackle house in a deceptively pastoral and idyllic setting. Her parents legendary parties laid some of the groundwork for her future in food.

Things take a dramatic turn and she gets herself to work at an early age. Gabrielle Hamilton pays her dues and works her ass off and then impulsively¬† becomes the proprietor of a restaurant, Prune, in New York City. It’s hard to talk about the hills and valleys along her journey without giving too much away. It is a gripping read.

Then her life takes a turn and I don’t love the way she writes about her later years. She is enthralled with her own choices and how difficult her choices made her life. There are some lovely vignettes and stories scattered throughout the later part of the book, especially some of the Italian scenes, but overall I just found it a bit overbearing. This is one of those tricky things about disliking parts of a memoir – I’m not disliking her, just the way she chose to portray parts of her life.

Overall, I’d say this is a night table read. Something to pick-up before bed if you like books about cooking. You’ll be able to read a chapter and put it down to sleep, but it will keep you awake for sure.



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4 Responses to “Just Finished: Blood, Bones & Butter”

  1. Suzanne says:

    This sounds really good, even with the parts at the end you didn’t love. I haven’t ever read a chefmoir but it sounds like the KIND of thing I would love.


    Amy Reply:

    Have you read Tender at the Bone? It’s one of the best of the genre. Hmm. Maybe I should do a top 5 chefmoir list.


  2. Audrey says:

    That is in my audiobook queue for the next time we are on a long drive. It was supposed to be vacation entertainment this summer. Lol


    Amy Reply:

    We need to talk after you read it. Have a mini virtual two person book club or something. I’m dying to hear another mom’s opinion.


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