Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Restaurant: Prune: Background information when reading Blood, Bones & Butter

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Blood, Bones & Butter

The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

by Gabrielle Hamilton

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton X
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2012, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Restaurant: Prune

Print Review

As a child, Gabrielle Hamilton's mother called her by the pet name Prune, and today the moniker appears in pink letters on the door of her thriving restaurant of the same name, located at 54 East 1st Street in New York City's East Village, established in 1999.

The East Village has a rich history of both rebellion and creative vision, making it the perfect location for this maverick chef's restaurant. Though her initial impression of the real estate was not great - the restaurant before hers had been abandoned and left with rotting food in broken freezers, dirty dishes piled in the sinks, and vermin running unabashedly about - she could immediately sense that the space suited her style and, after a serious scrubbing, would be a great location for Prune. (To hear the author read from her memoir about her disgusting and humorous experience with New York real estate, visit Gabrielle Hamilton's website and click on "Audio Excerpt #3: Prune").

As she describes in an interview with The New York Times, after spending approximately 20 years in kitchens that were, "mostly soulless factories of catering," she wanted to do something completely different with her restaurant. She opted for simplicity over trendiness, and cultivated a French bistro-like atmosphere where people could feed their appetites and feel at home.

The menu is intentionally "not eclectic," and Hamilton is well-known for serving up fare that, she explains, is "very personal, it's food that I grew up eating or that I have a very close experience cooking, or that I personally know from the ground up and have made and loved." Her homestyle dishes include radishes with sweet butter, roasted marrow bones, fried sweet breads with bacon and capers, poached cod with cabbage, and veal breast cooked in milk; and for dessert she offers cornmeal poundcake with poached pears, butter pecan ice cream "drowned" in cold maple syrup, and a bitter chocolate pot de creme, among other tasty treats.

For more information about Prune's offerings, read Frank Bruni's New York Times review of the restaurant entitled, "No Pretense. Well, Hardly Any" or watch the video below from Savory New York.

Article by Megan Shaffer

This article was originally published in March 2011, and has been updated for the January 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.