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Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast Hardcover – May 24, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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“Hunt, Gather, Cook is a fabulous resource for anyone who wants to take more control over the food they eat and have more fun doing so. It's a complete reference on foraging, fishing, and hunting, with great recipes by a writer, outdoorsman, and cook with enormous passion.” ―Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie and Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
“Going to be stranded on an island and can bring only one item? Bring Hank with you! And if you can't, then absolutely bring Hunt, Gather, Cook. That will ensure not only your survival but your survival with style and good gastronomy!” ―Ariane Daguin, founder of specialty meat purveyor D'Artagnan
“In Hunt, Gather, Cook, [Shaw] makes a powerful argument for joining him in a few of those pursuits, if only to become aware of the great bounty that surrounds us in the natural world, even when we live in urban environments--and perhaps particularly then.” ―The New York Times
“Most of us walk through our world and see water and land. Shaw sees a buffet ripe for the taking.” ―Tampa Tribune
“More than a cookbook, though there are plenty of recipes, and more than a memoir, though the book is filled with personal stories, Hunt, Gather, Cook is an introduction to a different way of ‘doing' food.” ―SimplyRecipes.com
“From recipes for homemade root beer and wild duck ragu to finding and picking nettles, the book is a paean to eating wild.” ―Garden & Gun
“A deftly narrated story that has us considering doing a little more foraging, fishing, and sure, maybe even hunting, so that we can have an excuse to buy a salami fridge, too.” ―LAWeekly.com
About the Author
HANK SHAW is a journalist, former restaurant cook, and the proprietor of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, twice nominated for a James Beard Award and winner of an IACP Award for best blog. His work has been published in Food & Wine, Field & Stream, and numerous other magazines. He lives near Sacramento, CA.
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When your collecting plants to eat you really need more info than this book provides.
That said, the author has limited experience in two things I desperately need guidance on...freshwater fishing and hunting. I am not going to knock the author because what he does cover in hunting, he does very well. He even says to call upon a guide and your own state resources to flesh out his book, which is a very responsible thing to do. However, he gives very little for the freshwater fisherman to look forward to because he covers fish he considers unwanted by other fishermen. I have only freshwater fished and wished to find out more than I knew. IN particular he didn't really touch crayfish. He talked a little about freshwater mussels, but very little and there was little to discern which ones tasted the best. I did! (Which is why he got 5 stars) but not a whole heck of a lot. I would not in anyway consider myself an expert on freshwater fishing, so I was kinda surprised at how little more I learned.
Also for gathering, there are very few photos of what you should gather. He gives a great description of each and sticks to the easiest things to find, but pictures would have been nice. With google image search you will do fine though. I would recommend this for any sea fishing, as he does go into great detail about this. He obviously spent much of his time on the coasts. I also went crabbing and clamming when I was a child, so these parts of the books were more like a trip down memory lane.
His recipes are divine, yes I tried some. If all you wanted was a recipe book for wild foods, this would be worth the price.
Hank Shaw is a true renaissance eater. Educated, well versed in ethics, smart in his approaches to gaining new skills and knowledge, yet rooted in his father's passion for the outdoors. I do not view him as the modern Grizzly Adams as others have, because I believe that diminishes the bridge that he provides to so many seeking the big step into a full table approach to wild foods.
At 336 pages with sparse photos and just a sprinkling of recipes, Shaw is more focused on a mid-range canvassing of everything one would need to know to forage plants as well as fish and hunt. Whereas Connie Green's Wild Table is all about the recipes, Shaw is about the how-to. How to find the stinging nettles. How to select the gun you need to kill a deer. How to process an animal in the field. Too much for some possibly, but enough for anyone on this journey to get far enough along that you have the confidence to take the next step.
The book is comprised of three sections: Foraging from coast to coast; Fishing and feasting from streams to the sea; and Hunting for food and fulfillment. Green's book focused in on California and Pacific Northwest flora, but Shaw features a more universal selection - wild greens, berries, acorns, and then present relatively easy recipes that are a step above the 70s Love Child recipes that have driven many from wild bounty. The fishing section starts with the ethics and rational for fishing and moves into shellfish, crabbing and a variety of the more common fresh and salt water fish and how to prepare them. He covers how to clean the fish and turn them into dishes such as Sicilian Grilled Fish with Oregano Oil.
The hunting section is the most intricate in the book in terms of his personal ethic and journey. If you weren't raised hunting, the odds of you ever hunting are minuscule at best. But Shaw breaks down those barriers with his personal story of an adult learning to hunt. He walks the reader step-by-step on selecting the weapon, practicing and getting licensed. As a result of his book I am currently in the process of learning to hunt in hopes of actually hitting the mountains next season with confidence that I can humanely kill an animal and efficiently turn that animal into food. Naturally, deer take center stage because of their prolific nature all over the world, but Shaw also covers moose, elk, quail, rabbit and more. Swedish moose meatballs, wild boar sausage and pheasant salad with fennel are just a few of Shaw's recipes.
Shaw is a bridge building for the non-indoctrinated. After reading Hunt, Gather, Cook, you will have the confidence to step out and find your wild meal, and will be able to do it ethically, efficiently and with fun - a wonderful guide on a wild foodies journey.