They Came, They Saw, They Cooked: 5 Food MemoirsChris Silas Neal
During summer vacation, part of me wants to spend my hard-earned sheckles traveling the world and eating amazing food. The other part of me just wants to lie on the couch with a good book. Now, thanks to five delicious new food memoirs, I can do both.
The books — written by a reluctant, bad-girl chef; an avant-garde restaurateur; a slacker with a love of roast chicken; a Mideast war correspondent; and an American in Paris — are about love affairs with food, and the journeys that led their authors into the kitchen.
Granted, the term "food memoir" usually makes me cringe. It just smacks of indulgence — and not the good kind. Besides, in our age of celebrity chefs, kitchen lit and food fetishes, one has to wonder if there is anything really fresh to say about cooking at all.
Well happily, the answer turns out to be yes.
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education Of A Reluctant ChefThe Inadvertent Education Of A Reluctant Chef
•Hardcover, 291 pages
Gabrielle Hamilton's stunning Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef is a gorgeous, nervy portrait of the "artist" as a young woman. Hamilton, owner and chef of Prune restaurant, just won the James Beard Best New York City Chef Award. She began working in food service haphazardly at age 13, when she was effectively abandoned by her parents.Blood, Bones & Butter details the heartaches, family conflicts, world travel and little epiphanies that played midwife to her passions and talents as a cook.
With unflinching candor and eloquence, Hamilton describes her evolution beautifully, offering sharp insights into American culture, parenthood and the food industry along the way. Like any standout recipe — or memoir — Blood, Bones & Butter is far greater than the sum of its parts. It's not simply about becoming a chef, but everything messy and exquisite that feeds a life.