If you love good writing, you will love this memoir. Hamilton can make a sentence sound as good as the meals she prepares. You will also love this book if you can bear her sense of self-righteousness about how food is prepared, about how people should behave at a farmer’s market, and if you think it is okay to hate another person because of the way they choose their coffee (double espresso, half decaf latte). I came to abhor her self-centeredness, especially at the very end when she holds her family hostage while she has a blood sugar attack but refuses to eat at an ordinary restaurant. Really? A chef who can’t remember to bring a little food with her when travelling with 2 toddlers to avoid a circumstance just like this?
In the first half of the book, Hamilton is generous with her stories and her love of what is important to her; enough to make me want to try some foods I wouldn’t normally consider or adventures that are far riskier than I am used to. I admired the way she envisioned her restaurant and made it happen. (Of course, calling herself a “reluctant” chef feels like a marketing ploy as she seems anything but.) However, once she is married, she can’t seem to get enough of putting down her husband and even having the poor grace to complain about a month in Italy every year. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audio book - which she narrates herself - that I come away with a sense of her total self-absorption disguised as wanting to feed her guests and love her children. I finished this book only so that I could close this chapter of my reading life.
Funny, Engaging, and Honest
Chef Hamilton opened her life and told her story....the good, the bad, and the ugly. I appreciate the honesty that she shows in describing her life.
Her inflections when telling stories make the book more interested and those don't translate to the printed word.
Yes, but I couldn't
I wish other chefs like David Burke, Wiley DuFresne, and Thomas Keller would write similar books.
Lovely, unstrained, facile language
I've just begun to listen and already I'm delighted with this book
Personal intensity and unpretentious vocal touch that turns the smooth prose to rhythmic poetry.
Happiness at first listen.
I doubt that my opinion will change.
Regardless of what Gabrielle Hamilton thinks about distinguishing female chefs from male chefs, it is such a pleasure to hear, specifically, the voice of a women who has become influential and powerful in a male dominated field describe her personal life and her career path.
She tells her story so beautifully and in such a contemporary way, with so many of the important details so honestly portrayed, that it is a huge contribution she is offering and I felt so happy that I chose to over-ride my vegetarian sensibilities to listen to her story. Because while she does talk a lot about meat, her personal tale is so interesting and so well-told that it made it worth covering my ears, so to speak, during the meatier parts.
Well worth a listen. Her speaking voice is a bit flat, but the prose is gorgeous enough to make up for it and it is so nice to be read to by the author that I didn't find it too diminishing to the tale. A must for anyone involved in the food industry, and most especially for students or the newbies. Lovely.
Definitely. It's one of the most engaging books I've listened to for a long time. Normally I listen to books while I exercise, but I found I wanted to listen to this anytime I was in the car or had a little time to hear more of the story.
The realistic nature of the book. She has quite an interesting story to tell, and tell it she does!
She's an excellent narrator. I couldn't remember who the narrator was on the book until I came back to Audible to check and was not surprised to hear it was Gabrielle Hamilton telling her own story. I wondered how the narrator could get so "into" the story...now I know!
Great listen...or great read, I'm sure.
Ce n'est pas grave!
This was a good book with some new insights for me about the world of cooking and restaurants. It absolutely cries out for a sequel, though, as the story just sort of dropped off at the end, But I would definately recommend it.
Gabrielle Hamilton's love of food is evident in her story. Her descriptions of cooking and of food in general were my favorite parts of the book. It made me want to go to Italy and cook eggplant in an Itallian villa by the sea...Her prose is descriptive and imaginative. I enjoyed the fact that she is the narrator. I recommend this book to other 'foodies'.
Beautiful written memoir of growing up and finding your way to the life one needs to live. Gabrielle Hamilton shares her life and her becoming a chef and owner of the wonderful restaurant Prune in NYC. If you love Anthony Bourdain put this book at the top of your reading list
I thought this book was very interesting, wonderful to hear about Gabrielle's slightly wacky upbringing and how she made her way into her current profession. I liked that she narrated the book I think that makes the story even better. Would recommend this book.
I was hoping to like this book. Michael Ruhlman was 1/3rd right when he said the last part of the title should have been "bitter" rather than "butter." I have never heard a grown adult complain so much. The book is self narrated which makes you despise the author even more. (Her voice is extremely apathetic so listening to it is extremely hard.) She is vulgar and extremely crass. I'm no prude--but this woman is no lady--furthest thing from it. Her resentment toward her mother and husband is too much to take. Umm...if you are going to have a sham marriage for green card puposes maybe you shouldn't have expectations of love, affection, and for the love of god don't have children. throughout the book, she writes such redundant passages and waxes about her amazing abilities to complete the simplest of tasks. I was so glad to finish it. my recommendation...get grant achatz's life on the line and read about a real class act...not this %&*$@!