Thursday, March 03, 2011
Last night, my sister, my boyfriend and I met up at Powerhouse Arena Dumbo to hear chef Gabrielle Hamilton talk about her new book Blood, Bones and Butter, which was officially released two days ago. Long-time fans of her restaurant Prune and new admirers of her writing (the New Yorker excerpt from the book was beautiful, if you can get your hands on it, do), we were all excited to see her speak.
Unfortunately, moderator/interviewer Peter Meehan wasn't the world's greatest interviewer (in fact, he was terrible and didn't manage to ask any concrete questions the whole night, which was sort of shocking). Luckily, Hamilton was so charming and guileless that the talk was captivating even without structure.
Hamilton said many things that rang true to me as a writer, a former catering cook and a home cook. Among them, she said that the food she serves at Prune is a way to bring people together. She said she hopes the first few bites delight and maybe even surprise the diner, but the food ultimately just recedes as a delicious background to conversation. Hamilton said that when she looks out at her restaurant and sees people talking, laughing and enjoying themselves, she knows she has succeeded as a chef. Sharing this anecdote was actually a way to talk about her writing, that the author should recede, but the story should entertain.
After the talk, the line to buy a copy of the book was too long for our tastes, so we headed out without copies. However, I plan to stop by my local bookstore this weekend and pick up this book--I can't wait to read Blood, Bones and Butter.