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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)