Before I became a librarian, I worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years. I learned to cook from my dad and had dreams of going to culinary school to become a chef. Career changes happen, but I am still drawn to cooking shows and spend a lot of time reading books about food, food policies, eating, and food history –think Bittman, Kurlansky, & Kingsolver. When it came out recently, I knew I had to read Blood, Bones & Butter: the Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton.
Hamilton is owner and head chef at Prune, a well-reviewed and established restaurant in New York. This book sets out her love of food from her parents to her on-the-fly education in New York City catering. Her path to recognition and establishment later in life is both gory and determined. Being a woman in this business can be ugly and Hamilton both investigates and dismisses this fact. What she does well is understanding the connection between food and family and what it means to be part of this process on both an intimate and grander scale.