Wild Things

Cookbooks that get your hands dirty

Though our favorite cookbooks differ in recipes and style, the setting is often the same: A pristine kitchen.

But a new crop of reading material has challenged us with more exciting locales, focusing on the steps that come before cooking: foraging, hunting and growing.

Preserving Wild Foods ($20): New York chef Matthew Weingarten and TT’s senior food editor, Raquel Pelzel, prove that delicious wild ingredients are abundant if you know what to look for and where to find it, even in Manhattan’s concrete jungle. But the book is hardly just a guide to picking plants: Find great instructions for making everything from maraschino cherries to oil-cured anchovies.

Origin ($47): In this book, Ben Shewry, one of Australia’s most highly regarded chefs, tells a tale of growing up on an isolated New Zealand farm, and how his hands-on experience with butchering and farming led to the stunning cuisine at his restaurant, Attica.

Afield ($27.50): Chronicling the meat-focused dinner parties of Austin’s Dai Due supper club and butcher shop, this handsome guide contains everything you need to know about cooking wild game and fish, from squirrel to flounder.


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