Andrew Zimmern is a lifelong outdoorsman, and as a long time resident of the outdoor recreational friendly state of Minnesota, he has spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, foraging and cooking those harvests. In that time, using his culinary skill set, he has mastered great ways to prepare wild game dishes that are simple, yet delicious. While most people are accustomed to traditional wild game dishes, comfort foods like pheasant breasts cooked in cream of mushroom soup, Andrew says that wild foods have so much more to offer. Over the course of the last 25 years, there has been an explosion of food wisdom that has somewhat left the outdoors community behind, he notes. "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen" provides him with the opportunity to show people how to bring what they hunt, fish and forage into the present day. If wild game is fresh and prepared in interesting ways, people really love it, he says.
Setting this show apart from others is the focus he puts on preparing wild foods outdoors over an open fire. Grilling and cooking over an open fire may seem simple on its face, however, in order to turn out great food, a person needs to have a good understanding of heat management. Andrew notes that he is excited about the opportunity that this show gives him to demonstrate open fire cooking techniques where people can learn by watching. Viewers get to see what he means by hot zones and cold zones, they get to learn about feeding a fire and how to maintain a certain level of heat. The show demystifies the concept of cooking over an open fire and helps people approach their food preparation in a different way. "My goal for this show is to encourage cooks to stretch beyond cooking foods that typically define outdoor grilling and embrace dishes that are just as easy, but far more satisfying to make," he says. "In the series I share a range of practical tips that will hopefully be helpful even to more seasoned cooks and enhance the experience of cooking over an open flame."
Food plays a big role in the life of every person as it is essential to survival. However, many people have become very detached from the food system. The idea of eating wild food versus something purchased at the supermarket has become taboo to them. It's not hard to explain what happened, he says. A century ago, our relatives had to hunt, fish and forage for their meals. They grew their own vegetables and they raised their own animals for meat. But, the world has changed and we're living in a fast paced age where people have a hard time stepping away from their phones and getting outside. As a result, fewer people are sourcing their meals from the outdoors. Hunting and fishing, spending time outdoors, these activities have become more of a specialized experience or event that has to be planned, Andrew says, rather than a lifestyle. Education is an important part of bringing more people into the fold of the field-to-table movement. Luckily, the outdoor community generally does a pretty good job of communicating the benefits of the lifestyle and the food resources, he says. "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen" presents a unique opportunity to introduce people to the great outdoors and its potential food sources. It also creates a positive environment for people to learn how to prepare meals from their harvests without being intimidated by these new food sources.
Be sure to listen in as Chef Andrew Zimmern joins The Revolution this week with a wide ranging conversation about sourcing wild food, cooking over an open fire, the importance of being connected to the food system and his new series, "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen", on Outdoor Channel.
Don't miss the premiere of "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen" on Outdoor Channel beginning Monday, Sept 19th 9:00 pm ET.