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

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

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by Georgia Pellegrini
     
 

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Unlike many people who hunt, Georgia Pellegrini does not come from a long line of hunters; until recently, she had never even held a gun. But after graduating from the French Culinary Institute, Pellegrini worked at the famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns—where she killed her first turkey. The experience forever changed her ideas about how meat is sourced, and she

Overview

Unlike many people who hunt, Georgia Pellegrini does not come from a long line of hunters; until recently, she had never even held a gun. But after graduating from the French Culinary Institute, Pellegrini worked at the famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns—where she killed her first turkey. The experience forever changed her ideas about how meat is sourced, and she resolved to learn to hunt. Seeking guidance from some of the most skilled hunters around, she continues to perfect her technique, stock her freezer, and search for recipes in order to transform whatever meat she catches into a delicious meal.

Girl Hunter chronicles Pellegrini’s adventures as she travels from the mountainside creeks of Montana to the Arkansas delta to a hunting party in England. As she describes how she discovered the joy of hunting, she charts her transformation from whole food lover to passionate hunter. Complete with recipes, Girl Hunter—part comfort food cookbook, part lifestyle guide—is an ode to all that Mother Nature has to offer.

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
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.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738214665
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
12/13/2011
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
879,954
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.94(d)

What People are saying about this

Ree Drummond
Georgia Pellegrini is a force: strong, articulate, beautiful...and she can hunt pheasant like no one's business. Having gotten to know Georgia in real life, I was already excited to read The Girl Hunter...but what I didn't expect was that it would grab me by the arm and draw me in for days and days. I found myself nestling into my sofa to read each chapter, craving things like poached dove and elk jerky and curried pigeon as I turned the pages. Georgia's irresistibly descriptive chronicling of her year of hunting, along with the unbelievably delicious, almost otherworldly, recipes she shares, sealed this book's permanent spot on my shelf. It's a timeless culinary classic. (Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman)
Gail Simmons
In Girl Hunter, Georgia Pellegrini goes where few women have dared—through swamps and forests, fields and streams, all in the name of a soul-satisfying meal. Her book captures perfectly not just the thrill of hunting and foraging for your own dinner, but also the very personal and profound impact of these unique experiences. She compliments her stories with mouth-watering recipes and food descriptions that will inspire you to befriend your local butcher and look at game in a whole new way. Reading each of Georgia's wild adventures made me want to pull on my Wellies and join her, rifle and skillet in hand. (Gail Simmons, Host, "Top Chef: Just Desserts")
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
Aarti Sequeira
I never thought of hunting as the next inevitable step in the farm to table movement. Nor did I think of hunting as poetry in motion. Thanks to Georgia's eloquent little book, chock a block with equal parts respect and chutzpah, I have a whole new appreciation for hunting. Heck, I might even try it myself! (Aarti Sequeira, Host, Food Network's "Aarti Party")

Meet the Author

Georgia Pellegrini attended Wellesley, Harvard, and the French Culinary Institute in New York. She has worked at Gramercy Tavern and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The author of Food Heroes, she lives in New York and Berkeley. Visit: GeorgiaPellegrini.com

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Girl Hunter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Sparticus More than 1 year ago
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.
Newtson More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is just bad hunting stories and recipes. The recipes are better than her hunting stories.