I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of Gabrielle Hamilton before I received the press release. I think “Prune” rang a bell, but it wasn’t until I learned about the dinner that Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne were hosting at Lucques that I started doing my research.
I’m intrigued by collaboration. Chefs and chefs. Writers and chefs. Jugglers and chefs. Fill in the blanks and have food involved and I’m excited. I also happen to adore culinary memoirs. Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples, Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me, Jaffrey’s Climbing the Mango Trees. Not fictional tales of women finding love over a bowl of pasta in an Italian village or “finding themselves” in an upstate butcher’s shop. I want the writing to show me the food and the person. For real.
Blood, Bones & Butter has the tidal wave of a Tony Bourdain endorsement clearing its path to greatness. But it also has a solid, genuine character at the heart of it which makes the story real and accessible–and touching, whether or not you come from the same damaged family or have taken your own knocks in the restaurant world.
The night at Lucques felt like a nod to the long-ago family gatherings she recounts, with a spit-roasted lamb turning slowly out back and everyone in a good mood, content to be there with each other. We all felt a little bit lucky to be part of the family for the night.