Artists / Writers / Back of House / Front of House / Podcast / Restaurateurs

085 – Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune

085 – Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune


Dream Guest Work. With Just Showing Up. Welcome to a very special episode! Back in February 2015 when I started this podcast, I spent a great deal of time figuring out my core values. Face-to-face interviews? Check. Community focus? Check. Dream guest? That one was easy. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in NYC is #1 on my laminated list, both for her otherworldly food but even more so for her panache with food writing. Ever since I devoured her Mind of a Chef episodes and her memoir, Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, I’ve been praying to the podcast gods to somehow, some way talk with this woman who writes likes I want to write and cooks the food I want to eat.

In this episode, I traveled to Merroir in Topping, Virginia to record her event with Chef Dylan Fultineer of Rappahannock in Richmond – a lunch completely foraged in and around the restaurant. Oysters, rockfish, trout, and greens. Softshell crab and sweet potatoes. Hyperlocal and cooked simply over a grill. With minimal ingredients, so the main one shines through. Around 50 people attended this event as part of Richmond’s 4th Annual Fire, Flour, & Fork festival which is quickly becoming one of my favorite food gatherings of the year. Listen and you’ll see why. Picture a perfect 80-degree sunny day, no humidity or wind, with only the seagulls, lapping water, and crunching oyster shells underfoot and the happy smiles of other diners as your companions. Gaze at the pictures in my Facebook album as you listen. It’s almost as if you are there. Speaking with Chef Hamilton was a dream come true, a major career highlight. Great things happen when you choose to show up for your life.

In the second half of the episode, hear Chef Hamilton speak with Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe as part of Gabrielle’s keynote address at Fire, Flour, & Fork. Topics include women in the kitchen, the challenges of being a chef, mentoring and what that means, and Gabrielle’s new book, a memoir. Pictures are on my Facebook profile.  It’s charming and funny and thoughtful and only cemented my belief that Gabrielle Hamilton is the ballsiest, most badass chef and writer around. Enjoy!

From the Fire, Flour, & Fork website:
“Gabrielle is the chef/owner of PRUNE, which she opened in New York City’s East Village in October 1999. PRUNE has been recognized in all major press, both nationally and internationally, and is regularly cited in the top 100 lists of all major food magazines. Gabrielle has made numerous television appearances including segments with Martha Stewart, Mark Bittman, and Mike Colameco and was the victor in her Iron Chef America battle against Bobby Flay on The Food Network in 2008. Most notably, she won an Emmy for her role in Season 4 of the award-winning PBS series Mind of a Chef. Gabrielle has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food & Wine, Afar, Travel and Leisure, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Elle, and House Beautiful. Her work has been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013. Gabrielle was nominated for Best Chef NYC in 2009 and 2010 by the James Beard Foundation and in 2011 won the category. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, which has been published in six languages and won the James Beard Foundation’s award for Writing and Literature in 2012. She won her third James Beard award in 2015 for her piece “Into the Vines” published in Afar. Most recently, she wrote the cookbook, Prune, featuring 250 recipes from her East Village restaurant. She is a monthly columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is currently at work on her next book, a memoir, to be completed in 2018.”

Speakers you will hear in this episode:

Wendy Wyne – Marketing & PR Director, Rappahannock Oyster Company
Patrick Oliver – Farm Manager, Rappahannock Oyster Company
Susan Winiecki – Co-Founder and Co-Manager, Fire, Flour, & Fork
Dylan Fultineer – Chef, Rappahannock
Gabrielle Hamilton – Chef, Prune
Bryce Carson – Fire, Flour, & Fork Volunteer
Kerry Diamond – Cherry Bombe

SHOW NOTES – Links to resources talked about during the podcast:

This episode is sponsored by and listeners like you who donated their support at Patreon, who wants every creator in the world to achieve a sustainable income. Thank you.

Leave your comment

13 − 3 =