Maybe my resolution to spend more time outdoors is a quest to get back to my own roots growing up in a farming community in upstate New York. But there are some parts of that rural life I never forgot, and one of them is the camaraderie of hunting. I learned what I know from my brothers and I plan on passing down not just their techniques but also the tradition of hunting to my boys when they are old enough.
Whether you are a young chef or just growing up in a food family (as my boys do), it is important to know the source of your food—to understand the real meaning of “regional” and “seasonal”, words that have unfortunately become little more than menu-speak. But hunting doesn’t just teach you about the cycles of food and the seasons, it teaches you how to be quiet, and how to wait.
Until my boys are ready, I do the hunting as well as the cooking.
Here I am on an early morning shoot at Black Point on the Sonoma Delta, the northern tip of San Pablo Bay. I got 11 birds total: 6 pheasants were made into terrines, 5 were breasted and served at my son Randall’s birthday dinner.
I will try and get some recipes for these dishes up later this week.