The 2012 season will launch Tuesday, Jan. 31, with Gabrielle Hamilton, celebrated chef and author of “Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef,” an unflinching and lyrical memoir about her unconventional journey as a cook.
Now the owner and executive chef of the acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, Hamilton spent 20 fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life — travelling, moving from job to job, and above all seeking family.
Questing to recapture the joy and comfort of childhood that eluded her as an adult, Hamilton revisited the experiences of her early years, when her parents hosted grand parties, often cooking for more than 100 friends and neighbors.
Transported to the bustling kitchen of her childhood — where the smells of spit-roasted lamb, apple wood smoke and rosemary garlic marinade became as essential as her own skin, Hamilton found her place and purpose in life.
“Blood, Bones and Butter” follows Hamilton through the many kitchens she has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family — the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.
A writer, mother and world-class chef, Hamilton will appeal to both foodies and literary audiences alike as she shares her experiences in love, life and food.
Join Talk of the Stacks in toasting Hamilton and the book Anthony Bourdain called the “the best memoir by a chef ever.”
The program will be free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.
A book sale and signing will follow the presentation. For more information, call 612-543-8107 or visit www [dot] supporthclib [dot] org.
In addition to her memoir, Hamilton’s writing has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Bon Appétit, Saveur and Food & Wine. She also authored the eight-week Chef Column in The New York Times and has been anthologized in six volumes of “Best Food Writing.”
Time: Doors: 6:15 p.m.; program: 7-9 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
Place: Pohlad Hall, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401