Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

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Overview

What happens when a classically-trained New York chef and fearless omnivore heads out of the city and into the wild to track down the ingredients for her meals? After abandoning Wall Street to embrace her lifelong love of cooking, Georgia Pellegrini comes face to face with her first kill. From honoring that first turkey to realizing that the only way we truly know where our meat comes from is if we hunt it ourselves, Pellegrini embarks on a wild ride into the real world of ...
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Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

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Overview

What happens when a classically-trained New York chef and fearless omnivore heads out of the city and into the wild to track down the ingredients for her meals? After abandoning Wall Street to embrace her lifelong love of cooking, Georgia Pellegrini comes face to face with her first kill. From honoring that first turkey to realizing that the only way we truly know where our meat comes from is if we hunt it ourselves, Pellegrini embarks on a wild ride into the real world of local, organic, and sustainable food.

Teaming up with veteran hunters, she trav-els over field and stream in search of the main course—from quail to venison and wild boar, from elk to javelina and squirrel. Pellegrini's road trip careens from the back of an ATV chasing wild hogs along the banks of the Mississippi to a dove hunt with beer and barbeque, to the birthplace of the Delta Blues. Along the way, she meets an array of unexpected characters—from the Commish, a venerated lifelong hunter, to the lawyer by day, duck-hunting Bayou philosopher at dawn—who offer surprising lessons about food and life. Pellegrini also discovers the dangerous underbelly of hunting when an outing turns illegal—and dangerous.

More than a food-laden hunting narrative, Girl Hunter also teaches you how to be a self-sufficient eater. Each chapter offers recipes for finger-licking dishes like:

  • wild turkey and oyster stew
  • stuffed quail
  • pheasant tagine
  • venison sausage
  • fundamental stocks, brines, sauces, and rubs
  • suggestions for interchanging proteins within each recipe

Each dish, like each story, is an adventure from begin-ning to end.

An inspiring, illuminating, and often funny jour-ney into unexplored territories of haute cuisine, Girl Hunter captures the joy of rolling up your sleeves and getting to the heart of where the food you eat comes from.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many cookbook authors claim to provide start-to-finish instructions, but rare is the collection that prefaces each recipe with the story of the hunt that brought down its main ingredient. Here, before there is poached dove and pears in brandy sauce, there is a field of men in camouflage. Before there is sweet porchetta sausage, there is a bone-handled knife in a boar’s midsection. Pellegrini, despite what the cover photo implies, is not your everyday Western gal with a frying pan in one hand and a rifle in the other. Her Hudson Valley childhood, Wellesley education, brief career on Wall Street, and her cooking skills (honed at New York’s French Culinary Institute), all inform her writing to create prose that falls somewhere between the culinary outdoorsiness of Jim Harrison and the urban insight of Candace Bushnell. Traveling through Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, hunting turkey, duck, and hog, she explores the thrill of the chase (“I listen to the cartridge slip into the chamber, and walk sideways into the tall, cream grass”) and reflects on its denouement (“the casual way in which nature treats life and death”). And she is equally keen in observing the series of male companions who serve as hosts and guides for her outings. These range from a friendly lawyer who escorts her through a Louisiana Bayou to a scary poacher with an uncomfortable perspective on steak in Wyoming’s cattle country. (Jan.)
Booklist
Foodie blogger Pellegrini has crafted a memoir rich both in her hunting experiences and ruminations on what it means to kill what you eat. Hunting remains a bit of a literary minefield—all too often relegated to camouflage-covered self-congratulatory missives and talk-show jokes about tone-deaf politicians. As a chef, Pellegrini sees the separation between carnivore and plate as something hypocritical. So she goes into the wild with people intimately connected to the land and learns to shoot and field dress as well as prepare food. Her experiences—some comical; others rife with tradition and lush with descriptions of late-night conversations accompanied by tobacco and whiskey—bring readers around campfires with sensitive men full of laughter. Individuals who value guns and food and find pleasure in patiently waiting with a dog for a bird to appear quicksilver in their sites. Although she does resist the tendency to romanticize, Pellegrini can't shake the fact she is part of something old, and that, aside from a Masterpiece Theatre-esque foray into the English countryside, she is dipping deep into a level of Americana few have captured on the page. Like her, readers will not be able to look away. And she includes recipes.
More Magazine
lyrical memoir
From the Publisher
"Pellegrini has crafted a memoir rich both in her hunting experiences and ruminations on what it means to kill what you eat." —-Booklist Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews
A bubbly combination hunting memoir and how-to guide, with some stellar recipes. Pellegrini (Food Heroes: 16 Culinary Artisans Preserving Tradition, 2010), whose popular blog chronicles her adventures hunting, cooking and globetrotting, focuses her book on the hunts. After college, the author forewent a career on Wall Street in favor of more schooling, at the French Culinary Institute. As a chef, she worked at Manhattan's gourmet Gramercy Tavern as well as Blue Hill at Stone Barns; her mouthwatering, meat-centric recipes are the stars of her stories. Pellegrini began hunting several years ago, when she was curious to determine if it was possible to eat only meat that she had killed. Her interest shares the same spirit as Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, although her recounting of her hunts is more personal and less deadly serious than most. A large part of Pellegrini's identity as a hunter has been defined by her relative youth and striking, blond-haired beauty, and her toughness constantly surprises veteran male hunters. The author divides her book by prey, with separate chapters devoted to quail, squirrel, deer and turkey, among others. Pellegrini describes chasing wild hogs along the banks of the Mississippi while riding on the back of an ATV, as well as quieter moments spent drinking whiskey fireside and listening to the tales of grizzled hunters. The author isn't a particularly strong or compelling writer, but her enthusiastic stories are original and will appeal to chefs and foodies, especially women, who are interested in tracking their food all the way to the table. Entertaining for a specific audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738216058
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 497,250
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Georgia Pellegrini is the author of the critically acclaimed and IACP-nominated book Food Heroes: 16 Culinary Artisans Preserving Tradition.

Amy Rubinate has narrated audiobooks for many major audiobook publishers. She has received AudioFile's Earphones Award, and her narration for The Lily Pond was a Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction on Audio 2012 selection.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

The Beginning 7

1 The Beginning and the End 13

2 The Village 27

3 Hunting the Big Quiet 39

4 Grouse and Other Creatures 53

5 Calamity Jane 69

6 The Upland High Life 89

7 A Moveable Hunt 105

8 Waiting for Pâté in the Floatant 123

9 All of the Jewels That Go Unnoticed in the World 141

10 NASCAR Hog Hunting 169

11 Seeing the Forest for the Squirrel 189

Epilogue 205

Acknowledgments 209

Gravy 211

Stocks, Marinades, Brines, Rubs & Sauces 211

Game Bird Characteristics 237

Game Animal Characteristics 239

Aging Game 239

Useful Equipment 245

Metric Conversion Chart 246

Recipe Index 247

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2011

    A fabulous and lyrical narrative!

    Pellegrini is not a product of the eponymous food networks, but rather is, like Michael Pollan, a philosopher of food, a classically trained chef, and a lyrical storyteller -- who has actually decided to put her shotgun where her mouth is and go after her ingredients.

    Its a sublimely entertaining read, and a great gift for anyone who wants to learn how to travel over field and stream to table.

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2011

    Great reading for foodies and hunters!

    Georgia Pellegrini's second fine book makes allies of two large cohorts of people, foodies and hunters. That space, only lightly populated in the modern era, is significantly revitalized by Pellegrini. At the core of this book is her rediscovery of what most of our ancestors accepted de facto. Pellegrini sets out and beautifully recounts with humor, humility and in delightful detail, her days among experienced hunters, respect for firearms, the protocol of the hunt, and reverential harvest. Pellegrini learns from some of the best. She tells of geographic glories, flora, history, and the varieties of wildlife. Then there are the recipes. Many, many wonderful recipes, clearly set out for both the novice and the veteran. Always engaging, Pellegrini changes things up; just when you expect her to take a written excursion here, she goes there. It keeps one reading! In the end, you want one more anecdotal morsel. However, like the animals we eat -- as well as our own earthly lives -- there is an ineffable arc. Georgia Pellegrini is in the ascendant, thus I expect and look forward to what she may yet sink her teeth in -- and tell us all about it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Read it!

    Girl Hunter was interesting and inspiring. Pellegrini has a way with words that makes you feel as though you are sitting in the deer stand with her. This book makes you crave wild game and the nostalgic living off the land lifestyle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Half story telling, half recipe book, all entertaining. Always l

    Half story telling, half recipe book, all entertaining. Always love a good story about self realization and this one is no exception. Pellegrini's attention to detail takes the reader out in the early morning hunt with her. The book is inspiring and causes the reader to re-examine his or her relationship with the food they eat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    just bad stories

    It is just bad hunting stories and recipes. The recipes are better than her hunting stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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