I’ve been in Hawaii for less than a day (spent yesterday flying, which is why this post is late), and thanks to the miracle of the family-style plate lunch dinner, already have eaten kalbi, Korean chicken, tonkatsu, plus some teriyaki beef and shrimp. Oh man. I can’t wait for all the local style ono kine grindz (tasty food) I have yet to savor over the next several days. I miss this stuff all the time, and only get it once a year!
December 28th’s book is also about food that nourishes palate, body, and soul. This extraordinary chef’s memoir comes highly recommended.
Blood, Bones, and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton
This was a splendidly escapist read for me. What if I shed my neuroses about collecting academic accolades and took a job where nobody gave a damn as long as I shut up and kept up? What if I traveled indefinitely, working whatever job was handy, knowing a kitchen could be my home?
Chef Hamilton takes her readers on a vibrant journey through her past. She is an honest narrator, upfront with her neuroses, her vulnerabilities, and her deep, deep loves. At times she gave me gut-punching pause, where I had to stop reading and let the vignette ease. She made me laugh. More than anything, she made me ravenous. She made me long for wood smoke, a big knife, and something massive to chop with it. She made me two-AM ravenous, for filthy food that at once shreds and indulges the soul. She made me ravenous for pastoral afternoons and the wholesome, rich, slow food of the archetypal grandmother.
If you enjoyed Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential for its gritty, witty take on the culinary underbelly, but got a little fed up with his constant patronization and “You can’t handle the truth” vibe, try Hamilton. She’s just as much of a snarky badass, but she keeps it in her own mesmerizing world.