Author event at the public library today. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter. I didn't know what to expect. I am not a cook, but am working on cooking for myself more and am enjoying it.
This is not a cookbook. It is Hamilton's memoir: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. She has owned and run Prune restaurant in New York's East Village for 12 years. She has worked and eaten in many kitchens from her mom's to her own to kitchens in France, Turkey and Italy.
She read from her book for about 30 minutes and then took questions. She was very engaging. She recounted the time she cooked at a summer camp. There were wild turkeys, a bear, and lobsters. You had to be there.
I did buy the book. I don't always at these events. She autographed it to me and because I told her I was just beginning (again) to cook for myself, she added "Cook and cook and cook."
Maybe 400 or so people were in attendance. She had anyone who was in the food industry - chef, server, or farmer - to stand. There were quite a few.
She told us that she had long wanted to be a writer. She quit chef-ing and earned an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Michigan. Then she tossed that aside and opened her own restaurant and grieved the loss of a writing life. But, lo and behold, soon after, as is sometimes the way, she was asked to write a food article and the writer in her was reborn.
She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, and Saveur.
I am anxious to read her story.