When Gordon Hamersley closed the beloved Hamersley's Bistro in 2015 after twenty-seven years of culinary prowess and pleasure, it was the end of the best roast chicken to be found in the South End and environs. That is, the bird that was marinaded in a shallot-mustard-herb concoction, lovingly roasted with fresh lemon slices and lusciously garnished with melt-in-your-mouth onion, garlic and potato wedges. It was the chicken that Julia Child loved and would order over and over again. Hamersley will be at the South End library on November 22nd at 6:30 PM to talk about it all. He will be introduced by longtime South End realtor Ron Geddes, his good friend. After working with culinary luminaries like the Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck and Julia Child, both of whom he met while in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Hamersley and his wife Fiona --his wine advisor-- departed for the south of France where they lived and cooked in a local bistro in Nice for a year in the early 1980s, and then returned to the US. Hamersley cooked for a while with another star chef, Lydia Shire, at the Boston Hotel and, in 1987, opened Hamersley's Bistro on Tremont Street. He won the James Beard Best Chef Northeast Award in 1995, after having been nominated for it five years in a row before that, an honor that was followed by the Hall of Fame Award from Boston Magazine in 1996, and the prestigious four-star rating from the Boston Globe in 1997, among his many other national accolades.
Hamersley is the author of the beautifully written and illustrated Bistro Cooking at Home (2003), with Joanne McAllister Smart, and is currently a contributing editor to the Boston Globe's Wednesday Food Section. Recent articles included mouthwatering instructions for roasted Belgian endives and Meyer lemons; how to make simple but great Moong dal; and the alchemy of flour, eggs and olive oil on their way to become handmade tagliatelle with spring pea sauce. Why did he close Hamersley's to begin with when his last year of operating it was the best one ever? Will he write another cookbook? Or a culinary memoir? You can ask him yourself on November 22. A limited number of copies of his cookbook (now out of print) are available for sale and signing.
The South End Writes is sponsored by the Friends of the South End Library. All the events are free. The branch is fully handicapped accessible. We serve refreshments. Seating is limited, so come early if you really want the best experience.
COMING UP NEXT IN THE SOUTH END WRITES SERIES:
Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 PM:
Dina Vargo, a local tour guide for Boston By Foot, will tell you about her amazing discoveries of Boston’s “secret” history and of some of Boston's unorthodox female characters, stories of which she compiled in her debut work of non-fiction, Wild Women of Boston. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing, as well as for borrowing from the library.
This will be the final talk of the 2015/16 season.
The 2017-18 South End Writes series begins on Tuesday, January 10, when the 2008 Pulitzer-prize and National Book Critics Circle award-winning author and MIT professor, Junot Diaz, will be at the South End library. Recipient of the MacArthur Genius Fellowship, among many other honors, Diaz is known for his fiery, exuberant prose and empathetic descriptions of his characters (in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Drown, and This Is How You Lose Her) that are rooted in his early childhood in, and memories of, the Dominican Republic, where he was born. He will be introduced by his friend and colleague, author and poet Pablo Medina, who read at the South End library in May 2014 from his novel, CuBop City Blues.
Also booked for the 2017/18 season are the following exciting authors:
Suspense writer Wendy Walker (with the widely praised All Is Not Forgotten) on Tuesday, February 7; the outstanding foreign-policy journalist Stephen Kinzer (with his new book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of American Empire) March 14; the celebrated author of Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Independent Self, Gish Jen (her latest book coming out in February is The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap), March 28; New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Saved Us, Jenna Blum (a collection of tales by well-known women writers, all set on one day in Grand Central Station, called Grand Central Station: Blum’s novella is called The Lucky One), April 4; and the acclaimed sociologist Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, another MacArthur Genius Fellow gracing the South End library, (with her recent Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers) April 18.