The best food writing is always about more than food, and that is the case with Blood, Bones, and Butter (Random House, $26), the excellent memoir and first book by Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef and owner of Prune, a popular restaurant in New York City’s East Village. The book is part coming-of-age tale about the pluses and minuses of growing up with artistic and food-loving parents whose divorce ultimately shattered their children’s lives. Beyond recounting her family travails, Hamilton uses her considerable training and skill as a writer to describe how a succession of food experiences (including hunger) led her to open a restaurant that would transcend the faddish trends of modern American cooking. A cross between M.F.K Fisher and Patti Smith? Sort of. Hamilton’s book will appeal not only to cooks and omnivores, but to anyone who appreciates a well-told story about finding one’s passion and meaning in life.
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