A rollicking tale of the American wild and its spoils, The Scavenger’s Guide is at once an adventure in hunting and gathering and a visceral experience of the distance between ourselves and the food we love. After stumbling upon Auguste Escoffier’s 1903 culinary milestone Le Guide Culinaire, outdoorsman, avid hunter, and nature writer Steven Rinella embarks on an unusual quest: to procure all necessary ingredients for a forty-five-course meal, born entirely of Escoffier’s esoteric wild game recipes.
For one year, Rinella traverses the country assembling his feast—fishing for stingrays in Florida, flying cross-country to Michigan to obtain a fifteen-pound snapping turtle, and hunting mountain goats in Alaska. While in pursuit of his ingredients, Rinella encounters colorful characters, introduces his vegetarian girlfriend to the lifestyle and dishes of a huntsman, and comes to terms with the loss of his lifelong (if not culinary) mentor, his father. The Scavenger’s Guide is a delicious, absorbing account of one man’s relationship with his family, friends, food, and, of course, the natural world.