Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent…

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

by Gabrielle Hamilton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,032848,204 (3.76)61
  1. 00
    Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Food memoirs that both start out with the authors' relationships to their mothers and childhood family mealtimes.
  2. 00
    Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture by Dana Goodyear (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    Under the Tuscan sun by Frances Mayes (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Under the Tuscan Sun is a dreamier book, gentler and more idealistic than the rough-and-tumble and sometimes drug-soaked Blood, Bones & Butter, but both authors adore Italy and are lavish at showing their love on the pages.
  4. 00
    Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Right, so the story Blood, Bones & Butter took a hard left turn to big city living after childhood but the writing style was as honest and uncompromising and as full of food as Little Heathens.
  5. 00
    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (MyriadBooks)
  6. 00
    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: Hamilton's Prune is basically the same thing as Ezra's Homesick Restaurant.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 61 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
I saw the 4 stars rated for this book and thought I'd give it a shot - wow, I don't know what makes me so different but I really disliked this book. It is written decently in that all the sentences seem to make sense and, I'll admit, the candid nature and witticisms present in the first couple chapters made me think reading this was going to be a positive experience but... sheesh... this author should be on one of those lists like "the worlds most intolerable, obtuse, unsympathetic, one dimensional people". Totally unaware of her privilege (like, for example, being able to call a rich brother who ponies up an expensive lawyer to get her out of a legal jamb) she lashes out at some... many.?.. most(?) other people in the world. Writing grad students? forget it, they're all pompous and trite, NOT LIKE HER, other women chefs? they're all about doing the least amount of work to become rich and famous NOT LIKE HER (who somehow feels that stealing and taking advantage of people is part of "hard work"). I just found this book and, in particular, the tone of the book, particularly slimy and mean-spirited. I'm so confused... what are the 4-star ratings for? ( )
  marshapetry | Sep 23, 2015 |
“I wrote a book in a way that I would like more people to write books,” Ms. Hamilton said. “I’m not afraid of the real truth. There is nothing you can tell me about yourself that is going to make me clutch my pearls.”-Gabrielle Hamilton

I haven’t read many chef memoirs. I’m not much of a cook, and I don’t know anything about the hustle-bustle chaos of restaurant life other than what I've seen on Iron Chef and Food Network. But this book proves that even if you are like me, uninformed about this kind of life- reading a memoir as good as this one can welcome you wholeheartedly into uncharted territory and give you juicy peeks behind the scenes without making you feel like you’re out of your element.

Hamilton is a red blooded woman who grew up in a loving family that eventually fell apart like many do. She forged her way into the competitive New York culinary scene by her own sweat and imagination, learning through years of experience in various kinds of kitchens across the country. This memoir by chef Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of Prune Restaurant in New York City provides a lush reading experience with details to satisfy even the pickiest of reading palettes.

Hamilton’s childhood, culinary experience, and family life are written with an honest and intimate approach, admitting that Hamilton’s path to success involved the culmination of many years of discovering herself and her reluctant talents. Through many kitchens, her story encompasses the sour and candied fruits of labor, detailing savory childhood hopes, salty teenage angst, and even pickled drug-fueled stints. Her passion shined through, making such things as her father’s spit-roasted lamb parties, her mother’s graceful French charm, and her love of hands-on, simple preparation of edibles an experience to be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine, a few laughs, and a gasp. Favorite parts: Learning how to kill a chicken; finding your fat, old lobsters drowned in the good intentions of smoke addled youth.

Hamilton’s MFA in creative writing is revealed in her quality of style. Don’t pass up this good reading experience because of rumors it may be adapted to the big screen in the future. ( )
  jasmataz | Sep 11, 2015 |
The subtitle of Blood, Bone & Butter is "The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef." It should have been "The Incidental Education of an Insufferable Chef." I get it: cooks are crazy. Everyone knows this. And Gabrielle Hamilton, the author of this book, is no exception. She had a neglectful upbringing, found out that she could work in kitchens even if it wasn't what she really wanted to do, and spent time in NY getting in all kinds of trouble, like many restaurant workers do. Then she took a left turn and decided she wanted to do something more "important" and went and got an MFA in creative writing, and then ended up back in the restaurant business. This sounds kind of interesting, but this lady -- oh, this lady. She is a piece of work. I don't mind, or even prefer, a memoir that isn't strictly about the work. What else goes on in our lives often has a lot to do with how we end up where we are, so I am perfectly fine with personal life mixed in liberally. But when I finish the book and I'm not even sure what her successful New York restaurant is like, aside from small and that it serves brunch, I don't think it's a really successful book about a restaurateur.

Instead, here's what I know about Gabrielle Hamilton: she hates women who shop at farmer's markets. She had lesbian relationships until she married an Italian guy. She is terrible at relationships - she had an affair with said Italian guy while dating a woman, who she broke up with by informing her she was getting married. She married the Italian so he could get a green card. (Although ultimately who is in that marriage for more than that, and who is most disappointed by the whole thing, and who is more at fault and why are we still talking about it is all up for debate.) She thinks people who let their kids cry it out are miserable excuses for human beings, but she will yell "things I'm not proud of" at her fussy toddlers in the car when she's hungry. She is a chef, but cannot correctly pronounce "turmeric" or "pho." She also has a habit of pronouncing "a" like "ay," including at the beginning of the word "another," so that I felt like she was reading to a particularly slow 4-year-old. I mean really - who says "ay" person and then "ay"nother?!

I suppose the bottom line is, I did not like this woman, and I felt like the book focused on all the wrong things in all the wrong ways. I wish she had stuck to cooking and skipped the MFA. ( )
1 vote ursula | Sep 5, 2015 |
A beautiful and searingly honest memoir about a life very fully lived. Hamilton does not appear to be a particularly nice person, but nice is not the be all and end all. She is certainly not one who looks to build bridges, and while I definitely would not want to be her partner (in love or business) her uncompromising approach to all things makes for a great narrator with a sharp and compelling point of view. And the way she writes about food, and about Italy, is as gorgeous and evocative as any writer I can name. I struggled between a 4 and a 5 star on this one, and erred on the 4 star side because I would have liked a bit more discussion of food, and of Prune, and perhaps a little less discussion of her husband's faults, but overall a very worthy memoir. ( )
  Narshkite | Jun 2, 2015 |
A memoir which explores hunger and the context which makes eating a pleasure. A beautifully written and intricate story of one woman's love affair with food and family. ( )
  Juva | Mar 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Though Ms. Hamilton’s brilliantly written new memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter,” is rhapsodic about food — in every variety, from the humble egg-on-a-roll sandwich served by Greek delis in New York to more esoteric things like “fried zucchini agrodolce with fresh mint and hot chili flakes” — the book is hardly just for foodies. Ms. Hamilton, who has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking, and her memoir does as dazzling a job of summoning her lost childhood as Mary Karr’s “Liars’ Club” and Andre Aciman’s “Out of Egypt” did with theirs.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This book is dedicated to all of my families--the one I come from, the one I married into, the one I am making with my own children, and the one I cook with every day at the restaurant. You are my blood, my bones, and, for sure, my sweet butter.
First words
We threw a party.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

The chef of New York's East Village Prune restaurant presents an unflinching account of her search for meaning and purpose in the food-central rural New Jersey home of her youth, marked by a first chicken kill, an international backpacking tour and the opening of a first restaurant.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
301 wanted3 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.76)
0.5 1
1 6
1.5 1
2 18
2.5 13
3 70
3.5 26
4 110
4.5 21
5 71


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,861,671 books! | Top bar: Always visible