I wrote a super-short piece in this week’s Montreal Mirror about Gabrielle Hamilton — of the popular NYC East Village restaurant Prune — and her upcoming appearance at Appetite for Books. (Many thanks to AEB for alerting me to the event!)
Like so many others, my first introduction to Hamilton’s writing was through the New Yorker, where they published “The Lamb Roast,” an excerpt from her debut book Blood, Butter and Bones, a memoir about her childhood and entrance into the world of food. There’s so much to admire about Hamilton, from her incredible work ethic to her culinary talents to her remarkable writing ability. For me, she really epitomizes the person who combines a love of both writing and food in a flawless way. Though I don’t ever see myself owning a restaurant, Hamilton is the kind of woman that I think I would like to be, too.
From the Mirror:
New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s 30-seat East Village restaurant Prune has developed a feverish following for its spectacular and simple food. Her beloved dishes—whole grilled fish, leeks vinaigrette, roasted marrow bones—are menu mainstays and have a direct provenance to her rural Pennsylvanian upbringing.
In her memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter, Hamilton writes thoughtfully on her thorny childhood, her reluctance to become a chef, and her tumultuous personal relationships. She’s in Montreal this week, Monday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m., for an event at Appetite for Books (388 Victoria) where she’ll discuss the book while audience members enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine ($45 with a copy of the book).
A graduate of University of Michigan’s writing program, Hamilton’s prose is as elemental and direct as her food. “The lambs roasted slowly, their blood dripping onto the coals with a hypnotic hiss,” she writes of her father’s lamb roast celebration. “My dad basted them by dipping a thick branch covered with a big swab of cheesecloth into a paint can filled with olive oil, crushed rosemary, garlic, and chunks of lemons. He mopped the lambs with soft careful strokes, as you might paint a new sailboat.”