Book Review: The Game Chef – Wild Recipes from the Great Outdoors, by Angelo Georgalli

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_the_game_chefChef Angelo Georgalli loves fishing, archery, hunting and getting out into the great outdoors, and he’s put together a recipe book that perfectly shares his passion. Originally from Cyprus, with a Cypriot chef father, Angelo grew up around food and the preparation of food (and he is also a professionally trained archer). In The Game Chef, he combines his love of food with hunting and gathering direct from nature’s bounty.

After running several successful deli cafes in Auckland and around the country, he and his family moved to Wanaka, giving him easy access to organic produce, seasonal cooking and moving back to basics with all that the Wanaka region has to offer. He also showcases his hunting and cooking in stunning vistas to great effect with his own show – TVNZ’s The Game Chef, completing the first series this year.

The written version of The Game Chef is tidily organised into sections of mouthwatering recipes including some of the rare: Hare, Wild Boar,Tahr; to some that are more accessible to all such as Salmon, Lamb and Venison. So you don’t have to know how to hunt to enjoy some of the recipes in this book. However, if you’re lucky enough to have access to sources of wild meat and fish, then you’re going to be very smug owning and preparing the recipes in this book.

The recipes are simple, as they are meant to be prepared outdoors as well as in the kitchen. The ingredients bring out the best flavours in the wild meats, and they’re not shy in using plenty of cream and butter to do so. But then life is to be enjoyed, and everything in moderation right?

Read through the book to find handy tips and tricks to wild food preparation, and ways to dress the different meats and fillet fish whilst out hunting. There’s also a section on finding, preparing and using wild Watercress, Mānuka and Kānuka, it would be great to see more of these tips in fact.

The production of The Game Chef is top notch, with a fine-hessian cover, stunning full colour images of New Zealand landscapes, and each section has its own animal illustration. It makes the book a real pleasure to read and a great gift for the (non-vegetarian) foodie in your family. What should we have for dinner tonight – Seared Venison with Bourbon Cream Mushroom Sauce, Hot Smoked Salmon Risotto, or Rabbit Burger?

I really enjoyed looking through The Game Chef, the delicious recipes and meals make it a real page turner – of a different kind.

Reviewed by Amie Lightbourne

The Game Chef – Wild Recipes from the Great Outdoors
by Angelo Georgalli
Published by Beatnik Publishing
ISBN 9780992264888

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