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Extended Audio Sample Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, by Gabrielle Hamilton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (13,968 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gabrielle Hamilton Narrator: Gabrielle Hamilton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton’s ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors. The smells of spit-roasted lamb, apple wood smoke, and rosemary garlic marinade became as necessary to her as her own skin.

Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family, the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Read this book and prepare to clean your system of all that’s come before. It’s a game-changer and a truly great work by a great writer and great chef.”

    Anthony Bourdain

  • “Gabrielle Hamilton has changed the potential and raised the bar for all books about eating and cooking. Her nearly rabid love for all real food experience and her completely vulnerable, unprotected yet pure point of view unveils itself in both truth and inspiration. I will read this book to my children and then burn all the books I have written for pretending to be anything even close to this. After that I will apply for the dishwasher job at Prune to learn from my new queen.”

    Mario Batali

  • “Hamilton unexpectedly started up her no-nonsense, comfort-food Prune in a charming space in the East Village in 1999. Hamilton can be refreshingly thorny (especially when it comes to her reluctance to embrace the ‘foodie’ world), yet she is also as frank and unpretentious as her menu-and speaks openly about marrying an Italian man (despite being a lesbian), mostly to cook with his priceless Old World mother in Italy.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Add this to the shelf of chef memoirs but also recommend it to readers with a penchant for forthright, well-written memoirs in general.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2011
  • Selected for the March 2011 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • One of the 2011 Newsday’s Favorite Books of the Year
  • A 2011 Huffington Post Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 Financial Times Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 Slate Magazine Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 Washington Examiner Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2011 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 BookPage Best Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2012 Indies Choice Award for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jane O'keeffe | 2/10/2014

    " Good memoir. I know the title tried to tie in both Hamilton's path top becoming a chef and her personal life but the transitions between cooking and personal life were clunky and left me with many questions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bianca | 2/9/2014

    " I feel bad giving this book a rating. How do you rate someone's memoir? I enjoyed reading the book however. And it made me really, really hungry for some really good food :O) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Doreen Callahan | 1/29/2014

    " If you are a foodie and have worked in the food industry this is the best book ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tom | 1/29/2014

    " Really great read. Hamilton is a gifted storyteller and really helps the reader experience her story. The challenges of being abandoned by her parents, years of struggling in kitchens (being a chef is not all glamorous), and finally of being a mother and wife and her struggle to feel part of a family. Given her years in 80s NYC and her balance of food as a creative outlet, it felt like I was reading Patti Smith mixed with Anthony Bourdain. Highly recommend. "

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