Gabrielle Hamilton (chef)

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Hamilton in 2021

Gabrielle Hamilton (born 1966)[citation needed] is an American chef and author. She is the chef and owner of Prune, a restaurant in New York City, and the author of Blood, Bones, and Butter, a memoir.

Early life and education[edit]

Hamilton, born in 1966, was raised in New Hope, PA. In an interview with NPR, Hamilton said her way of eating and cooking was heavily influenced by her French mother. She said her mother didn't waste food and the family often foraged for fresh ingredients from their garden and from the forests and fields surrounding their house.[1] Hamilton attended undergraduate at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA[2] and received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.[3]

Hamilton’s sister, Melissa Hamilton (cookbook author), is also a food writer and chef. Their father owns Hamilton’s Grill Room in Erwinna, Pennsylvania.[4]


Following a career in catering, Hamilton opened the restaurant Prune in the East Village in 1999.[5] She had no formal experience in restaurants, nor did she attend culinary school.[6] Her 30-seat restaurant garnered widespread acclaim and admiration from diners, critics and other chefs including Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert.[7][8][9] Prune earned a spot in the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin's 2014 New York guide.[10] Hamilton was featured in the fourth season of the PBS show The Mind of a Chef.[11] She also appeared as a guest judge on the first season of The Taste on ABC.[12]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton published a piece in The New York Times discussing the closure of Prune and broader implications of the pandemic for the restaurant industry in the United States.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Hamilton was married for 10 years to Michele Fuortes, an Italian-born teacher and researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College. They had two children, Marco and Leone, and later divorced.[14][15] Hamilton is currently married to Ashley Merriman, who was her co-chef at Prune.[16]



  • Hamilton, Gabrielle (2011). Blood, Bones, & Butter: the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-812-98088-2. OCLC 861521548.
  • Hamilton, Gabrielle (2014). Prune. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-812-99410-0. OCLC 883329595.

Essays, reporting and other contributions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Hamilton received the James Beard award for best chef in New York City in 2011 and again in 2012 for her chef memoir, as well as winning Outstanding Chef in 2018. She also earned a James Beard award for journalism in 2015 for a piece she penned for the travel magazine Afar; entitled "Into the Vines," the article documents the wines and winemakers of Sicily, Italy.[19]


  1. ^ "The 'Blood, Bones & Butter' Of Restaurant Work". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  3. ^ Kahn, Howie (March 1, 2011). "If Cooks Could Kill". Elle. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Moskin, Julia (December 1, 2009). "Along an Old Canal, Artful Neglect Finds a Home". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  5. ^ "GH Bio | Prune Restaurant". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "An Interview with Chef Gabrielle Hamilton |". Epicurious. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "New York City Travel Guide – Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations –". Travel Channel. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  8. ^ Beggs, Alex. "Literary and Culinary Sensation Gabrielle Hamilton Gets Real in *The Mind of a Chef*". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Bruni, Frank (April 6, 2005). "No Pretense. Well, Hardly Any". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  10. ^ Eats, Serious. "Michelin's 2014 New York Guide is Here". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "Watch Full Episodes Online of The Mind of a Chef on PBS | Season 4 Episode 1: Prune". PBS. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Watch The Taste Season 1 Full Episodes –". ABC. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  13. ^ Hamilton, Gabrielle (April 23, 2020). "My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  14. ^ Gordinier, Jeff (March 1, 2011). "The Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Life, Scars and All". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Anatomy of Gabrielle Hamilton's Loveless Marriage". The Huffington Post. March 7, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  16. ^ Hamilton, Gabrielle (November 22, 2016). "Feast in New York City". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  17. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (February 24, 2011). "Remembrance of Flavors Past". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  18. ^ Andriani, Lynn (September 27, 2010). "Bourdain and Batali Drool Over Gabrielle Hamilton's Memoir". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  19. ^ "James Beard Foundation". Retrieved February 2, 2016.

External links[edit]