My name is Hank Shaw. I write. I fish. I dig earth, forage, raise plants, live for food and kill wild animals. I drink bourbon, Barolo or Budweiser with equal relish and wish I owned a farm, or at least a large swath of land I could play on. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows. I am the omnivore who has solved his dilemma. This is my story.
Honest food is what I’m seeking. Nothing packaged, nothing in a box, nothing wrapped in plastic. I eat meat, and I’m not keen on factory farms, so I either hunt it myself or buy it from real people who raise animals humanely. Other than pork fat for charcuterie and the occasional hog jowl, I have not bought meat or fish for our home more than a handful of times since 2005. I am a constant forager, angler, hunter, gardener and fan of farmer’s markets, and eating locally and making good food from scratch is what I do. Seasonality rules my diet: In winter, I would rather eat a well-cooked turnip than asparagus from Chile.
I am especially interested in those meats and veggies that people don’t eat much any more, like pigeons or shad or cardoons. I have nothing against good grass-fed beef or a head of lettuce, it’s just that others are doing just fine writing about those foods. I’m trying to walk a less-traveled path.
Who the hell am I? I am a former line cook, I’ve caught fish and dug clams for a living and, after 19 years as a political reporter for newspapers ranging from New York to Virginia to Wisconsin, Minnesota and California, I now pay the bills writing about food, fishing, foraging and hunting. On occasion, I also cater events around Northern California and have been an instructor in the Journalism Department at Sacramento State University.
As a food writer, my work has been published in Food & Wine, Organic Gardening, The Art of Eating, Field and Stream, Gastronomica, Meatpaper, Edible Sacramento, the Stockton (CA) Record, Pheasants Forever magazine, Delta Waterfowl Magazine and several other publications. I was written up in the March 2009 issue of Field & Stream magazine for my wild game cookery, which was an honor.
I am the author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast, released in May 2011 by Rodale Books. My hope is that the book will help open the world of foraging, hunting and fishing to those interested in food, but who may have never hunted mushrooms or picked up a gun or cast a rod and reel before.
It is also my hope that hunters who want to expand their skills to foraging, or anglers who want to hunt, or foragers who want to fish, will find value in this book.
My second book, Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Waterfowl, Both Farmed and Wild, will be released by Ten Speed Press in October 2013.
I was honored to win a Bert Greene Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Best Food Blog in both 2010 and 2011. In addition, a story I contributed to for Field & Stream was nominated for an American Society of Magazine Editors award in 2010. And an essay I wrote on this site, “On Killing,” was included in the book Best Food Writing 2012 by Da Capo Press.
To reach me, email scrbblr AT hotmail DOT com
For rights, television inquiries and other inquiries related to Hunt, Gather, Cook contact Jason Yarn at the Paradigm Agency at jyarn AT paradigmagency DOT com or via phone at 212.897.6400.
ABOUT THE PICTURES
While I do take some of the pictures on this site, the vast majority (and all of the really good ones!) of the images you see here are taken by my partner, Holly A. Heyser.
Contact Holly at hheyser AT norcalcazadora DOT com.