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It’s not every day that you get to enjoy a meal cooked by Gabrielle Hamilton, a meal with Elizabeth Falkner and Traci des Jardins serving as her sous chefs, but that’s how lucky I was last month when I attended the La Cocina inaugural gala.

The theme of the evening was celebrating mothers as the seeds of entrepreneurship, and all night we heard stories about how La Cocina, an incubator kitchen in the Mission, had helped women get started in the food business. I sat and chatted with the bubbly Guisell Osorio, a former social worker from Chile who now runs her own catering company, Sabores del Sur; next to her sat Shelley Lindgren of A16, who got her start as a teenager washing dishes in West Marin; and next to her was the lovely Sandy Marie, of La Petite Cuilliere, an after-school cooking program my kids have enjoyed.

It was a great evening of delicious food and inspiring stories, not the least of which is the story Gabrielle Hamilton tells in her memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter. Gabrielle generously donated copies of the book to every guest that evening, and so now I have an extra copy to give away. If you haven’t read it yet, you must. Truly. This is a rich, complicated story that I pored over slowly, rereading sentences, paragraphs, and whole chapters as I went. Hamilton’s writing knocked me out; it is smart and tough and honest. The story is bittersweet, and too intricately woven for me to type in a passage here to offer an example of her prose. Whether you’re interested in an insider’s look at the restaurant business, a family memoir, or a story of managing work and motherhood, read this book. It’s exceptional.

Leave a comment with your name, email address, and a sentence or two about a memorable moment in your kitchen for a chance to win the book! Deadline is June 15th.

Blood, Bones & Butter