Posts Tagged ‘The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine’
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, women’s participation in hunting has increased by 36.6 percent over the last decade. That percentage represents 660,000 new female hunters busting cattails, climbing into tree stands and hiding in camouflaged pit blinds. One of those women is Georgia Pellegrini, author of the new book Girl Hunter.
Theories abound as to why women are picking up firearms or bows in greater numbers these days. As near as I can tell, women’s reasons for enjoying hunting are as diverse as their male counterparts. In Georgia’s case, her love of food was the genesis for her interest in hunting. She explains, “I’m an omnivore who has solved her dilemma; I’m a girl hunter.”
Like Steven Rinella’s The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine and Hank Shaw’s Hunt, Gather, Cook, Pellegrini’s Girl Hunter leads the reader on a variety of hunting adventures through the eyes of a chef first and a woman second. The end of each chapter also features a handful of recipes associated with the game she pursued during the chapter.
In the book, Georgia pursues upland birds, waterfowl and big game. She even slays a wild boar with only a knife in hand. All the while, her hunts are shaped by the people who serve as mentors, guides, and friends. There are also a few encounters with the kinds of unethical people who give all hunters and men bad reputations.
Girl Hunter’s characters are well-rounded and the stories move at a rapid pace making for a very fun read; however, it’s Georgia’s own thoughts about hunting for food that resonated most for me. In particular, the book’s last chapter about squirrel hunting stands out. I have never been a fan of squirrel meat or squirrel hunting, but the juxtaposition of this beautiful and intelligent city girl waxing poetic about her love of the nutty flavor of squirrel meat has made me anxious for September’s squirrel season.
Whether you’re a man or woman, long-time hunter or newbie, I highly recommend you find some time to read Girl Hunter.
NOTE: I also had the pleasure of interviewing Georgia for FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN 100.3FM. Listen to the March 31st podcasts for Georgia’s own recount of the book and her introduction to hunting.
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
I’m very excited to report that author Steven Rinella has agreed to join “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand and me for a conversation on the radio this Saturday morning. Rinella is the author of two non-fiction books; The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine was his first and American Buffalo his second.
I read American Buffalo this winter after picking it up during a Christmas shopping binge. The book tells Rinella’s tale of his wild buffalo hunt in the wilds of Alaska with a blow-by-blow account of the buffalo’s remarkable, and often tragic, North American history. His recount of the hunt is an adventure complete with grizzlies, wolves, buffalo chip campfires, and hypothermia.
On Monday, I began reading The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine. I’m five chapters in and it’s just as expert of a story. In this book, Rinella finds a hundred year old cookbook and sets out to pull off a three day feast featuring 45 different dishes from the cookbook. The hook; he has to hunt, fish, catch, or gather all the meats for his feast and we’re not talking just about rabbit, pheasant and elk. Nope, his meal consists of snapping turtle, song birds, fish semen, an antelope bladder, and an Alaskan mountain goat to name just a few ingredients. I find Rinella’s philosophy in line with Aldo Leopold, “the father of modern wildlife management.” In particular, Rinella’s view of food as the fruits earned by his hunting and fishing skills. Rinella’s thoughts remind me of Leopold’s “food doesn’t come from the grocery” thinking as described in A Sand County Almanac.
Rinella is also doing some work for the History Channel. We’ll see if this new adventure across America will be turning into book number three.
Please tune into FAN Outdoors this Saturday morning for what should prove to be some provocative conversation on American buffalo, hunting, fishing, wild game cuisine, and the modern conservation movement. Mr. Rinella is scheduled to appear at 6:50AM Central time. You can listen to the show live across the globe at www.KFAN.com or in the Twin Cities at AM 1130 on the radio dial. The show will also be available by podcast after Saturday morning.
Check out this YouTube video interview with Mr. Rinella.