Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time Paperback – Jan 29 2013
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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, thepioneerwoman.com
“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."
“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."
“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.”
“If Wolfgang Puck and Sarah Palin had a baby this is the book he would write.”
Booklist Top Ten Sports Books of 2012, September 2012
About the Author
GEORGIA PELLEGRINI is the author of the critically acclaimed and IACP-nominated book 'Food Heroes'. She has worked in renowned restaurants in New York and in France, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, and Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant La Chassagnette.   She chronicles her adventures in meeting food artisans and gathering her ingredients on her wildly popular blog GeorgiaPellegrini.com, which gets millions of hits per month. Her work has been featured on 'Iron Chef America,' in 'Food and Wine Magazine', 'Town & Country, Shooting Sportsman', 'ESPN', Daily Candy, 'Boston Globe', Martha Stewart Radio, Gilt City, Fox, and various other magazines, TV, and radio programs. She currently roams the world hunting and gathering, tasting good food, and meeting the good people who make it.
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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.
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.
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.
My perspective comes from having more books than may be prudent, reading four monthly outdoor magazines, and hunting pretty much non-stop from September through January plus turkeys in the Spring, all for more years than I care to admit. Of the whole lot, there are very few writers that are good, about a half dozen that are excellent, and perhaps only two that are genuinely gifted. Ms Pellegrini is one of the two truly gifted writers I have and the privilege to read. Thank you Ms Pellegrini.
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