I am a dedicated reader of New York chef, writer and storyteller Gabrielle Hamilton. I was pleased to hear that The Stratford Chefs School recently announced that Hamilton will be the 2015 -16 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence at the school.
The Gastronomic Writer in Residence program is one-of-a-kind and unique to chef training in Canada. Launched in 2007, the program is sustained by the family of the Joseph Hoare, former food editor at Toronto Life magazine, and a group of other donors. The school's previous eight writers in residence have had wide-ranging experiences in gastronomy, but have been mostly celebrated authors or columnists.
Chef-owner of the lauded 30-seat Prune restaurant in Manhattan's East Village, Gabrielle Hamilton was named Best Chef NYC by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, after two earlier nominations for the honour.
Hamilton famously authored the edgy 2011 memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, which candidly chronicles her apprenticeship as a cook and her unflinching journey through disparate kitchens to becoming a chef and restauranteur. In addition to having a compelling story to relate, Hamilton is a gifted and accomplished writer—she earned her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, and her writing has appeared in prominent publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit and Saveur.
Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef is among my favourite contemporary culinary memoirs. The book is by turns cynical, astute, hilarious, poignant and down-to-earth. Her culinary essays have also been anthologized in six volumes of Holly Hughes’s Best Food Writing.
In November of 2014, Hamilton released her first cookbook, filled with recipes from her restaurant. The book was hailed as an “instant classic” and a “masterpiece”.
As a writer in residence at the Stratford Chefs School, she will give instruction to both first and second-year students that can range from business writing to social media and recipe writing. While at the school from January 11-23, 2016, Hamilton will also work alongside students in preparing three Stratford Chefs School dinners, bringing a little of her Prune to Stratford's Prune Restaurant, the school's venue partner.