Culinary Historians of the Piedmont.This blog first appeared on
Gabrielle Hamilton's years of hard living, coupled with her role as chef/owner of Prune, one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City, have cemented an image of the quintessential bad-ass chef. She's famously infamous, a woman whose conversation is casually peppered with F-bombs and whose classic food evokes the rapturous praise of the most discerning critics.
So it was a surprise when she sheepishly accepted a glowing introduction last week at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, an event presented in collaboration with Culinary Historians of the Piedmont (CHOPNC). Hamilton read from the newly-issued paperback edition of her best-selling memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter (Random House), which was celebrated this week by Food52 as its No. 1 "favorite food-related find" from 2011. Yes, she assured fans, it is updated to answer some of the questions everyone asks about her children, her Italian mother-in-law, and the ashes of her failed marriage.
"Can I stop? Ugh, I'll never read that one again," she said, clearly uneasy with the effusive accolades that accompany most everything she says or does. Or wears, like her chunky tortoiseshell glasses or fashionably greying hair caught in a clip, both of which drew admiring whispers.