The author was raised by a French mother who cooked wonderfully but with whom Gabrielle had a terrible relationship. Her mother did teach her to cook, though, and Gabrielle made her “bones” in many kitchens via catering while she earned her MFA in writing. By happenstance, she also opened a restaurant in NYC, the
success of which was a tribute to what she learned from her mother.
This was powerful book for me because of my own background in cooking and because of the strained relationship I always had with my own mother. It is a book about the blood and guts of the restaurant business, and none of the glamor.