Duck, deer and wild turkey will be on the menu as local chefs team up with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for classes on cooking food from the wild.
Kansas City chefs and caterers will join MDC staff to demonstrate preparing game and fish at Field to Fork cooking classes in October, November and December at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center. They will demonstrate recipes both in the Discovery Center kitchen and on outdoor grills. Participants will be offered a hands-on chance to dress fish or prepare cuts of meat, such as cutting a venison loin steak. When the chefs are done cooking, samples will be available for tasting.
“My goal is to teach an appreciation for wild game and fish, and their unique textures and flavors,” said James Worley, the MDC education specialist organizing the Field to Fork series. “Hopefully we’ll make people get a little closer to food they can get locally by hunting and fishing.”
Pan fish and wild turkey will be on the menu from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Chef Jasper Mirabile of Jasper’s Restaurant is considering recipes such as bass in a bag. Duane Daugherty of Mr. Doggity’s Barbecue will be preparing turkey harvested in the wild.
With white-tail deer hunting season underway, Craig Adcock of Table Ocho will be preparing venison from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17. MDC staff will also demonstrate how to prepare cuts of meat from a field-dressed deer.
Cooking waterfowl such as duck will conclude the series 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Alex Pope of the Local Pig will demonstrate preparing waterfowl charcuterie, such as sausages. Rick Mullins of Republica restaurant and chef Micky Priolo will prepare dishes from freshly harvested waterfowl.
MDC connects people with nature and the cooking series fits with a movement towards locally sourced and sustainable food sources.
“There’s nothing more locally sourced, organic or free range than wild game or fish that you get hunting and fishing,” Worley said. “It’s the ultimate.”
Many wild game and fish recipes are tried and true. But for something new, MDC offers Cooking Wild in Missouri by Bernadette Dryden. The cookbook offers gourmet recipes for main courses and desserts with wild berries. Cooking Wild in Missouri is available at MDC public offices and nature centers, and at the online Nature Shop.
Each of the Field to Fork sessions is free, although a refundable $20 deposit is required to reserve a spot for the sessions at the Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO. To register, call 816-759-7300. Class sizes are limited to 30 participants.
Pictured: Boone County Burgo with squirrel is one of many game and fish recipes in the cookbook, Cooking Wild in Missouri by Bernadette Dryden.