LC Book Club: Blood, Bones & Butter

Blood, Bones, & Butter

Click here to join the discussion below.

Pull up a chair. Grab yourself a knife, a fork, and a—book? Yes! At Leite’s Culinaria, we aim to feed not just your body but also your mind, spirit, and sense of community. That’s why we’re launching the new online LC Book Club. Think of it as having a “Literary Lunch Break” with friends, rather than all by your lonesome. The first title for the Book Club? Gabrielle Hamilton’s much-hyped memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (Random House, 2011).

Our Book Club discussion will take place starting Saturday, April 23, 2011, so you’ve got plenty of time to start reading. We’ll host the conversation over on our Twitter stream @LeitesCulinaria, using the hashtag #LCBookClub to unite readers in what we’re sure will be a spirited conversation about Hamilton’s memoir.

Of course, we’ll also field comments here, for those who either don’t have a Twitter account, or who would like to discuss the book in thoughts longer than 140 characters. If you plan on participating in the book club (here or on Twitter), or if you have thoughts to share about the Book Club in general, please take a moment to introduce yourself in the comments section below—we’d love to hear from you.

Finally: Participation counts. We’re happy to announce that a $100 certificate toward a meal at Prune, Hamilton’s NYC restaurant, will be given away at the end to one lucky (and active) participant; it’s our way of saying “Welcome to the (Book) Club!”

About Blood, Bones & Butter:

Not only did Hamilton’s sharply observed memoir earn a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, but Anthony Bourdain has gone on record saying that Blood, Bones & Butter “is, quite simply, the far-and-away best chef or food-genre memoir…ever. EVER,” and that it “kicked the hell out of my Kitchen Confidential.”

Enchanted and strange, inspiring and tough-as-nails, the book reveals Hamilton’s unconventional journey from being a somewhat lawless adolescent child of divorce in rural Pennsylvania to her opening of Prune, the incredibly successful restaurant she established in 1999 in New York City’s East Village.

In Blood, Bones & Butter, you’ll meet a French mother who cooked “tails, claws, and marrow-filled bones” in high heels, a father who built sets for the circus, and then follow Hamilton’s own various incarnations as waitress, freelance caterer, camp cook, graduate student, and restaurant entrepreneur. All with tightly crafted prose, the heat of the kitchen, and more than a pinch of emotional honesty.

Entertaining? Yes. But also food for deeper thought. We hope you’ll join our Book Club on April 23 and share your views of Hamilton’s memoir.

In the meantime, if you’re hungry for more, chow down on Gabrielle’s Brown Butter Pasta recipe or take a look at these Literary Lunch Break writings:


  1. I’m in cannot wait for this to start. What a fab idea. Sure I’ll learn a lot from all you experts. Looking forward to this to begin.

    1. Ann, Thanks for chiming in. We’re glad to have you with us. Can’t wait to hear what you think about the book.

  2. Love the idea of the book club. We were married at Prune on Halloween 8 years ago and Gabrielle was very involved in the menu and wine selection with us. She was wonderful to say the least and made our day even more special. No better book to begin !!

    1. What a great, personal moment to bring along on your reading experience. Nice to hear how involved GH was with your special day. And we’re really happy to have you join us in reading her book. Welcome to our Book Club.

  3. Greetings from the south of France! I’m American, living and working here as a private chef since ’08 and couldn’t be happier. Love, love, love LC so thanks to you all for the great work. Certainly looking forward to this book club.

    1. Elaine, where in the South of France? My husband, The Frenchman, is from the Southwest. It’s a lovely part of the country, to be sure. As for the rest… Thank you so much for the compliments; we’re glad you love our site, and we’re really happy to have you in the book club. A bientôt!

      1. My frenchy hubby and I live in Lorgues, a small village about 30 km inland from St. Tropez, in the heart of the Cotes de Provence wine region. And yes, it is idyllic in so many ways. Don’t hesitate to contact us if ever you’re in the neighborhood… Just finished Hamilton’s book (via Ipad, hurray for ebooks!) can’t wait to chat.

        1. Fabulous area, indeed. Thanks for your warm invitation; I will definitely keep it in mind next time we’re heading to France (never as often as we want it to be).

          Glad you finished the book and will join us to chat! What did you think of the cover art? (There’s a thread a bit higher up here in comments, if you’d care to chime in on that.)

    1. An, so happy to have you join our book club. I, too, lament the lack of time for pleasure reading, so this will be a great experience to share.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Upload a picture of your dish