I ate at Gabrielle Hamilton’s Prune in New York about six years ago. I didn’t realise the story behind the woman. I do now and have been watching her “Mind of A Chef” series on Netflix recently.
She shares in this interview her bold thinking about everything. She sticks it up complacency.
Me, I’m very jaded by complacency right now. TBH, I’m uncomfortable about coming home to Australia to rules and morays and expectations that seep through into a society that has had it too easy for too long. I’m watching from afar the response to the same sex marriage postal vote (which should be a decision made by a non-complacent leader FFS). I’m watching the right-wing media commentary on Trump and climate change.
* Of course, I’m acutely aware of the painfulness of the person who’s been OS for a while who comes home with fresh-but-cynical eyes and rants about how much more sophisticated Berlin is at this time of year. I’d apologise, but I’m also aware I’m not speaking only for myself here.
“I wrote a book in a way that I would like more people to write books.”
It took her half a decade to write. She initially paid back the advance to her first publisher on her first attempt. You may like to know, I did the same with first, we make the beast beautiful, seven years ago. I got 60,000 words in and it wasn’t true (enough). I didn’t have enough wisdom to feel OK about having strangers pay for my emits. So I aborted.
But Hamilton has a bolder sense of self than I. She screen-tested for Iron Chef...
“I was asked, ‘So why do you want to be the next Iron Chef?’ And I said, ‘Um, I really don’t.’ ” She removed her microphone and walked off the set.
I did this with MasterChef but only after compromising myself and making myself small (while gaining untold weight from sadness) for 9 horrid months.
She says this, too:
“I fear that people have lost a common-sense ability to decide for themselves — sometimes I’m not even sure they know what they want to eat. I’m always very clear about what I’m hungry for, and what I’m not hungry for.”
Are you? Am I? Recently I’ve had to get clear what I’m hungry for. I allowed myself to be uncertain and wishy-washy – underwhelming – with accessing what mattered to me. But I’ve decided things need to speed up, pick up, fire up. This has made me aware that I can’t wait for anything or anyone, and my focus has to get sharp and urgent and committed. For too long I’ve sunk into underwhelm and allowed the flaccidity of this state to give me a leave slip from getting real.
Me, after four months watching Australia, and my own life, from a distance, I’ve got resolved about putting action to my hunger. Honing. Being brave with it. Stay tuned.
This final quote kills me in all the good ways…
“Books, movies, music, restaurants, advertising: something’s happened to us,” she said. “We’re not telling the truth. We don’t stink. We don’t have yellow teeth. We don’t have crooked teeth. We don’t have to suffer disagreement or pain or setbacks anymore. You can go to your doctor and get a pill — you don’t even have to be melancholy anymore, right? I mean, it’s just incredible what the new way of being is. We’ll see how that works out.”