Few chefs begin meal planning with an Army sniper’s manual |
New breed of hunters focuses on the cooking |
- As the ranks of American hunters dwindle, millennials like the chef Wade Truong are taking up the tradition, seeking a direct connection to what they eat.
New York Times, Washington’s Birthplace, Va. — It was cold crouching down in this homemade goose blind on the edge of a frozen cornfield near the Potomac River.
The early-morning January sun gave off considerably less heat than a light bulb.
All we had to eat was a communal bag of venison jerky, a satsuma and, eventually, the hunk of dark chocolate I had kept hidden in my pocket until I felt too guilty.
I had a million questions, but you’re not supposed to talk much when you’re waiting for geese.
I had a shotgun, but I had never killed an animal. It didn’t matter because there were no geese, anyway.
After about five hours, a small flock started to land in front of us. Someone yelled. “Take them!” Everyone except me stood and fired. Two Canada geese fell.
“He wanted to get as close to his food as possible”
A dog named Tug brought them to us, and we packed up and headed to the kitchen to cook what Wade Truong, the chef who invited me here to hunt, calls the rib-eye of the sky.
Mr. Truong, 33, grew up working in his parents’ Vietnamese restaurant in Harrisonburg, Va.
He never thought about hunting until he dropped out of the University of Mary Washington and started cooking professionally.
Like many young chefs, Mr. Truong decided that he wanted to get as close to his food as possible.
So nine years ago, he picked up his first hunting rifle.
He took a hunter’s safety class, studied an old Army sniper’s manual and headed into the woods, he said, “overgeared and underprepared.”
After several tries, he managed to shoot his first deer. He was determined to field dress it himself. He studied images he pulled from Google, and pried a few tips out of some hunters …
His girlfriend, Rachel Owen, 29, didn’t grow up hunting, either. But like him, she loved fishing. The two, who got together when they worked at the same restaurant, talked about hunting on their first date.
Now, eight years later, they have 30 guns between them. They keep an empty caviar jar in a drawer near their dining room table to collect any stray shot left in a duck breast … Read more.