Culinary and literary rock stars Gabrielle Hamilton and Anthony Bourdain are coming together for a good cause with great food—and you’re invited.
In two weeks—on Friday, April 29—Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune will prepare a feast of spit-roasted whole lamb on the terrace of Chelsea’s Sun West Studios in celebration of her bestselling new memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. Legendary chef and consummate New Yorker Anthony Bourdain—author of Kitchen Confidential—will co-host.
It’s all for the benefit of the Bronx Academy of Letters—an innovative and award-winning small school on Morris Avenue in the South Bronx, where (full disclosure) I’m on the board. So while I can’t promise objectivity in this particular write up, I can say that the school’s focus on reading and writing has made a transformative impact on students since it was founded in 2003. It was included in the U.S News and World Report’s “Nation’s Best High Schools” list and has consistently earned an “A” grade from the NYC Department of Education. Supplementary private funding is what enables the school to produce its student literary magazines, provide a writer-in-residence, and send its students on college trips in advance of their application.
I usually write about politics, but I love good food and out of the 18,000 restaurants in New York City, Prune has been my favorite lunch getaway for a while (I’ll say it: Best. Cheeseburger. In. New. York—and I'll give best appetizer to the sliced radish with brown butter and trout roe), It’s an added bonus that its founder, owner, and chef, Gabrielle Hamilton can write, as well as cook, like an angel. No, it ain’t fair—talents aren’t given out equally. Hamilton’s circuitous life story, captured in Bones, Blood and Butter, has been called “the best memoir by a chef ever” by the man who was generally believed to have held the title first, Anthony Bourdain.
These two legends teaming up for a lamb roast isn’t just a foodie fantasy – you can whet your literary appetite for the experience by reading Hamilton’s essay from The New Yorker earlier this year, titled, appropriately, “ The Lamb Roast.”
So here’s your chance to turn that fantasy into reality—eating well while doing good. Tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com or through the school’s website at www.bronxletters.com. Come on down—I’ll see you there. Your stomach will thank you—and so will the students of the Bronx Academy of Letters.
John Avlon's most recent book Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America is available now by Beast Books both on the Web and in paperback. He is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and a CNN contributor. Previously, he served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.