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Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time Paperback – January 29, 2013

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Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time + Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life + Food Heroes: Sixteen Culinary Artisans Preserving Tradition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738216054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738216058
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2011: Through geographically and gastronomically diverse essays, professional chef Georgia Pellegrini gives a voice to something that's been missing in the discussion of where our food comes from: meat. Faced with a freshly killed turkey and her personal decision to either become vegan or head to the source, Pellegrini picks up a shotgun and learns to hunt her own food. She introduces readers to her teachers and locals around the country who share hunting and cooking tips and impresses upon readers her determination to develop tasty recipes for even the most challenging game, like javelina, with as little waste as possible. More than just a collection of essays or recipes, Girl Hunter is an important addition to the conversation about how we eat and how we live. --JoVon Sotak --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Publishers Weekly, 6/27/11
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma meets The Pioneer Woman Cooks: a provocative book that pushes the boundaries of the foodie revolution and considers why, how, and what we eat.”

Ree Drummond, bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks,
“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 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 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 is a timeless culinary classic.”
Molly O’Neill, author of One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking
“As the national conversation about food shifted from taste to theory and politics, Georgia Pellegrini got real. She packed her bags, learned to shoot, and went face-to- face with our food supply. Lyrically told with unflagging humor, this is a rare account of the gut-level reality of being an omnivore. Read it and Eat.”
Steven Rinella, author of The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine and American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon
“Within these pages, Georgia Pellegrini turns the common stereotype of a hunter inside out. Her examination of food, hunting, and personal history reveals a lifestyle that is stylish, contemporary, exciting, and on the cutting edge of American culture. Anyone who’s undecided about hunting should listen to this woman. Anyone who loves hunting should listen even more.”
Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-Free Girl and Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
“Georgia Pellegrini did what I thought no one could do: keep me interested in reading more and more about hunting. Her open, curious nature, and the way she makes sentences sing through storms and funny moments, kept me reading Girl Hunter until late in the night. This is quite the book.”
Kirkus Reviews, 11/15/11
“A bubbly combination hunting memoir and how-to guide, with some stellar recipes… [H]er 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.”

Publishers Weekly starred review, November 21, 2011
“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.”

Gail Simmons, host of Top Chef: Just Desserts
"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."

Aarti Sequiera, host of Food Network's Aarti Party
"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!"

Publishers Weekly, 11/21/11
“[Pellegrini’s prose] falls somewhere between the culinary outdoorsiness of Jim Harrison and the urban insight of Candace Bushnell.", 12/1/11
“if she can get her hands this dirty, and with such humor and charm, we kind of want to too.”

Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern’s 12/19/11
“I obviously have a huge food crush on Girl Hunter Georgia Pellegrini…and her book cover is my favorite of the year.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/15/12
“The author’s true love of food and cooking enhances this memoir, which examines hunting as a means to become a more conscientious chef and eater.”
Santa Fe New Mexican, 12/30/11
“The recipes scattered about the book are as provocative and inspiring as her tales of back woods adventure and sustainable eating.”

Max Watman, The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2011
“Ms. Pellegrini takes the conversation on sourcing our food beyond the farmers market, beyond the local-pastured, organic meat of even the most specialized butcher’s shop. She’s gone into the fields for herself and echoes José Ortega y Gasset's philosophical defense of hunting—that there is something worthwhile in the wild, something we need, and that our modern lives don’t scratch the itch, they only disguise it."

Wall Street Journal, 12/24/11
"Ms. Pellegrini takes the conversation on sourcing our food beyond the farmers market, beyond the local-pastured, organic meat of even the most specialized butcher's shop. She's gone into the fields for herself and echoes José Ortega y Gasset's philosophical defense of hunting—that there is something worthwhile in the wild, something we need, and that our modern lives don't scratch the itch, they only disguise it."

Go Magazine, February 2012
"With a poet’s eye toward a conscious dinner, Pellegrini takes her readers on a search, not just for wild game but for what she calls a ‘primal part’ of one’s being. I couldn’t stop reading as Pellegrini dug into this foray with gusto and blood, which gives her book an occasional Lord of the Flies feel that’s usually abutted by thoughts so beautiful that you want to weep."

MacLean’s, 2/1
“Girl Hunter is an evocative account of Pelligrini’s gun-to-table experiences…It’s an unlikely pairing of Nigella Lawson’s culinary skills and Hemingway’s grit.”

Bitch, April 2012
Girl Hunter reads a bit as though Eudora Welty wrote a cookbook.  With a rich, descriptive drawl, a journalist’s attention to detail, and a novelist’s bank of synonyms, Georgia Pellegrini can turn a dinner party, an afternoon in a deer blond, or an evening in the kitchen into a scene so rich and heady you can smell the cigar smoke and hear the twigs cracking…This memoir of a girl and her guns is, at its heart, about the responsibility of omnivores to see themselves as part of a food chain, not merely as individuals in line at the supermarket.” 

Jimmy Kimmel
“If Wolfgang Puck and Sarah Palin had a baby this is the book he would write.”

Top Ten Sports Books of 2012, September 2012
“Foodie blogger Pellegrini has crafted a memoir rich both in her hunting experiences and ruminations on what it means to kill what you eat. Without romanticizing, she digs deep into a level of Americana that few have captured on the page.”

New York Times, 10/2/12
“[Pellegrini’s] book has a Carrie Bradshaw meets Annie Oakley vibe…She’s an exotic meats tourist.”

More About the Author

Georgia Pellegrini is known internationally for her fearless approach to sourcing her ingredients, from the backyard to the wild. She has a passion for good, simple food that began at an early age--on a boulder by the side of a creek as she caught trout for breakfast. She grew up on the same land that her great-grandfather owned and worked: a farm called Tulipwood in New York's Hudson Valley. Her connection to nature and the deep satisfaction she got from manual labor stayed with her through college. Even during the years that she ventured into the corporate world of finance, she felt something tugging at her to return back to the land.

After a bit of soul searching, Pellegrini decided to leave the cubicle behind and enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Soon after, she began working at farm-to-table restaurants, first at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and then at Gramercy Tavern in New York. At the former, when asked to slaughter and butcher a few turkeys for the restaurant, she felt the most visceral sense of connection to the food. "The experience was invigorating and awakened the primal part in me," she recalls. "All of a sudden, I had this purpose to pay the full price of the meal, to become a responsible omnivore and understand the process from farm to plate."

She went on to work at La Chassagnette, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the south of France, spending her days driving heavy farm equipment, befriending the gardener and his three- legged cat, and harvesting ingredients for dinner. She found that she was most interested in the foragers and fig collectors and salami makers who arrived to the restaurants with their goods, and she soon went on journeys with them--through the woods, into curing rooms, and over the rolling hills of olive oil vineyards. Her first book, Food Heroes (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010) tells the story of 16 culinary artisans across the world who are fighting to preserve their food traditions. The book was met with critical acclaim and was nominated for an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. "While I was writing Food Heroes, I realized each person I spoke to shared a common bond: a connection to the land," she says. "I knew my next task had to be refocusing on getting to the heart of where our food comes from by heading to the source, Mother Nature."

She bought a shotgun and set her sights on the cutting-edge of culinary creativity intent on pushing the boundaries of American gastronomy. She traveled over field and stream in search of the main course and met a host of colorful characters along the way. The result of these adventures is the critically acclaimed book Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2012), named one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2012 by Booklist and a best book of the month by

In her latest book, Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life (Clarkson Potter, 2014), she teaches 'manual literacy' and modern day pioneer skills that are accessible no matter what kind of space you live in--from fire escape gardening, to up-cycling, to preserving, to learning how to change a tire.

Pellegrini also chronicles her adventures in meeting food artisans and gathering her ingredients on her popular website,, which garners more than 2 million hits per month. For immersion into her adventurous yet stylish lifestyle, she hosts Adventure Getaways across the country. These two- to three-day trips include a combination of outdoor activities; horseback riding and scenic ATV rides; clay shooting; fly fishing; hunting for birds, wild hogs, and deer; cleaning and butchering; chef-prepared meals and cooking classes, and more. For more information, visit

She has been on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Iron Chef America," NBC's "Today Show" HBO's "Real Sports," Fox, NPR, Martha Stewart radio, in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Food & Wine, ESPN, Town & Country, More, The New York Post, and many more. When Pellegrini isn't delving into local foodways at home in Austin, TX, she's roaming the world hunting and gathering, tasting good food, and meeting the good people who make it.

Customer Reviews

If you haven't read this book yet, then you have to get started!
Avid Reader
I was drawn in from the very start with this book about chef and author, Georgia Pellegrini, and some of her experiences in hunting for her own food.
It makes perfect sense as a lover of protein to understand the foods we eat better.
Marla Meridith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Chris on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I like hunting, I like cooking, so I thought this book would be a good read and addition to my library. The recipes are certainly useful, but there are plenty of wild game recipes out there if one looks.

The rest of the book is a narrative of her fun with friends who take her hunting in lavish ways. As far as an introduction to hunting it is useless- she never misses, never has to scout, or even walk that much. If you have a friend that owns a few thousand acres, has hunted there for decades and will hold your hand through the entire hunt, this book will be a great introduction. If you want to go from the meat aisle in the grocery to bringing home some game and you should keep looking.

She does mention a few times that she is engaging in once-in-a-lifetime hunting trips, which is great for her memoirs and self-marketing. This does not help anyone to understand how to hunt their own meat. I want to eat venison more than once in my life, and spend under $10,000 to do it. Her one hunting trip on public land is also her worst hunting trip, what message is that conveying? It is great if you own your own ranch or club, or have a guide take you out, but that is not a way to get regular meat for the table. That is a vacation for most of us.

I had hoped to read some reflection and thoughts on *why* we hunt or the state of hunting today. That was almost completely lacking, perhaps 6 pages in the entire book had any reflection. The thinking, what there was, was more like fortune cookie thoughts- "it woke something primal in me", "I feel a connection with nature", etc. I think the quotes she grabbed from other writers were the 'philosophy' part of the book.

Generally, this book was as the title describes- a girl hunting. She is taken care of every step of the way, self-absorbed, and shallow. It does not describe the many women and men who hunt for their meat in the United States.
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Aloysious77 on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not Impressed

I lost interest in this book about half way through when it became apparent that all of the hunting the author does is on hunting preserves or private land where she pays someone to take her to the animals so she can shoot them. To be fair, I only read half this book and stopped because I was bored to death by the time I got to the part about her shooting all kinds of birds on a multi-million dollar hunting operation in Texas that caters to its wealthy clientele.

Ms. Pellegrini's desire to understand and appreciate where her food comes from by hunting for it is commendable, however, she unfortunately proves that it is not an experience most people can appreciate - unless they are wealthy. She missed an opportunity to experience hunting in its truest form because she chose to take a short cut and pay someone else to do the legwork. Learning the art and craft of hunting takes time and study to gain the knowledge of the ways of animals and their ecology, to know their habits and habitat and to become a part of the predator/ prey relationship. I think there are much better reads out there about hunting and foraging than this one.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James on March 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am an avid hunter and read this book after recently reading Call of the Mild by Lily Raff McCaulou. Others have given very accurate reviews of this book (look at the 3, 2, and 1 star reviews) so I will keep mine short. Georgia's stories are shallow and do not reflect the true meaning or purposefulness of hunting. Instead she presents hunting as a "sport" for rich people that can afford to hunt at multimillion dollar "camps", drink too much, and have little to no respect for the animals they take. She even seems to brag about how expensive it all is and how "in" she is.

If you want to know about hunting, are unsure about how you feel about hunting, or just want to hear what real hunters feel about the subject PLEASE do not base your opinions on this junk. Read a book like Call of the Mild that really expresses the emotion and meaning inherent in hunting. This book is truly a black-eye for all hunters.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy Walters on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is nothing what I expected. She really doesn't get it all. Please read "Call of the Mild" and don't waste your money on this. Recipes sound good, but who really keeps that stuff in their pantry? 'Rich girl plays hunter' should be the title. Not impressed at all. I am a "girl hunter" and this book is lacking in every aspect.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By proletariat on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unless you're a One-Percenter, or perhaps British nobility, I can't imagine you would relate to this book. It's as much about all the rich people Georgia gets to hang out with and all the expensive wine and booze they drink as it is about hunting--or "learning" to hunt. The book it actually reminded me of was Gabrielle Hamilton's, "Blood, Bones, and Butter," which also rubbed me the wrong way. Hamilton's book wasn't about hunting at all, but as a book about food, and a memoir of sorts, to me it came off as extremely elitist, often condescending, and both author's appear to be in love with themselves--not to mention with money and status.

I agree whole-heartedly with the other critics that Call of the Mild by Lily Raff McCaulou is a far better, not to mention more thoughtful, treatment of the subject. McCaulou is likable. She doesn't continually point out how rich her hunting buddies are or how their shotguns cost over a hundred thousand dollars or that after the hunt her aristocratic hunting partner takes her to an English pub in an antique Bentley. More importantly, you can tell how much McCaulou wrestle's with her feelings toward the animals she's pursuing. She cares about her prey, about the environment, about conservation. She's not just some trendy, privileged brat, honing her "pioneer skills," as Pellegrini refers to the pursuit of wild game.

The one redeeming thing I can say about "Girl Hunter" is that I imagine the recipes for wild game would be excellent--given Pellegrini's classical training and former employment in some extremely high-profile restaurants.
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