The Scavenger'S Guide To Haute Cuisine

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Overview

A nature writer's obsession with a 100-year-old cookbook leads him on a fascinating journey into the American wilderness.

A hybrid of memoir, cookbook, and travelogue, and a love song to hunting and fishing and the American wild, The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine is about one man's quest to live off the land and recreate the recipes from Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, the 1903 magnum opus that still stands as one of the greatest haute ...

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Overview

A nature writer's obsession with a 100-year-old cookbook leads him on a fascinating journey into the American wilderness.

A hybrid of memoir, cookbook, and travelogue, and a love song to hunting and fishing and the American wild, The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine is about one man's quest to live off the land and recreate the recipes from Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, the 1903 magnum opus that still stands as one of the greatest haute cuisine cookbooks ever written.

Nature writer Steven Rinella takes along his vegetarian girlfriend and a cast of eccentric friends and embarks on a year-long journey across America, trying to locate the bizarre, often esoteric ingredients of Le Guide Culinaire, such as animal organs and the surprisingly elusive street pigeon. His adventures take him fishing for stingrays on a Florida beach; skinning eels with an upstate New Yorker who keeps an emu as company; hunting mountain goats on the snow-covered cliffs of Alaska's Chugach Range; and flying from Montana to Michigan to collect a fifteen pound snapping turtle his mother found on the highway. Originating in an article Rinella wrote for Outside magazine, The Scavenger's Guide is written in prose that's as clear and pleasing as a mountain stream and is ultimately an ode to mother nature. The result is a narrative that opens up a deeper understanding of the things we eat and how the natural world affects the way we live.

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Editorial Reviews

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Rinella isn't the first to try his hand at the recipes in French master Auguste Escoffier's classic cookbook, Le Guide Culinaire. However, he's probably the only one to acquire his own ingredients the old-fashioned way -- by hunting and fishing for them himself. A correspondent for Outside magazine with a palate for adventure and a great sense of humor, Rinella dishes up a culinary adventure par excellence. His obsession, to prepare a Thanksgiving repast for his pals consisting of 15 dishes from Le Guide, sends him on a quest for eel, stingray, wild boar, and more, and is an armchair adventurer's dream come true.

A midwesterner who moved west to enjoy the great outdoors, Rinella is a skilled angler and marksman, but he doesn't stop at the usual hunting and fishing. From tracking down a snapping turtle (for soup, naturally) in his home state to clamming in the San Juan Islands to shrimping off the coast of Alaska, Rinella reels readers in. He chases down wild pigs in California, stalks elk in Montana, and clambers after mountain goats in the Alaska's Chugach Range. And though his tales of dressing out his prey are not for the squeamish, he provides readers with the humorous counterpoint of his vegan girlfriend, who remains at a distant remove from the proceedings without discouraging Rinella from his enterprise. If Michelin were to review The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine, it would surely rate three stars. (Summer 2006 Selection)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401352370
  • Publisher: Miramax Books
  • Publication date: 3/15/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2006

    This book is incredible!

    I've never read anything like this. This author is an expert on Auguste Escoffier, the outdoors, high cuisine, the natural world, hunting, animals, and many other things. He's even in love with a vegetarian! I laughed out loud. I couldn't put it down. This boook would appeal to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    A Dream Come True

    This is the book I've been waiting for all my life, a book that teaches me something about the outdoors, about cooking, about history, while making me feel as though I'm just reading for pleasure. I wouldn't normally read a book like this, but a friend of mine gave it to me and insisted, so I picked it up and couldn't put it down. The author describes his quest to recreate an old French cookbook. He writes about his friends, all interesting and funny characters, and about the people he meets along the way, mostly outrageous eccentrics. There is also a love story nestled into the beautiful, accessible prose. I loved, loved, loved this book, and I wish I could buy it for the whole world. READ THIS!

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