Chef Jesse GriffithsSep 7th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: guest bio, the show
Jesse Griffiths: : Owner Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club, Austin; Cookbook Author; Nominee for Food & Wine Best New Chef 2011; and Austin’s Local Hero, 2010.
Chef Jesse Griffiths has been hunting the last five of his 37 years. “We didn’t have hunters in my immediate family, but we did have anglers,” the Denton, Texas native said. Griffiths, an only child, grew up fishing, but always had a yearning to go afield.
Without a mentor, Griffiths turned to the Internet. “I read everything I could find on websites and forums. I asked questions. I analyzed information and techniques. I just educated myself,” he said.
As he tells it, the worst thing that could possibly have happened to a first time hunter happened to him during dove season five years ago: “I took aim at the first dove that flew up, and I hit it with a single shot from my 20-guage! Then I missed the next fifty. That first shot had a million to one odds, but it hooked me.”
Griffiths is also a self taught cook. At 16 years old, he had his first restaurant job in Denton, and says he learned from everyone on the line. By the time he was 21 he was cooking professionally, and never looked back.
The cooking that gave him the biggest thrill early on was preparing the fish he had harvested. “I wouldn’t even accept fish from friends who offered, because I only wanted to cook the ones I caught,” he laughed. “I guess I really liked the feeling of being so intimately connected to the source of my food.”
Griffiths, with his wife Tamara Mayfield, own and operate Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club; the businesses focus on traditional, local and sustainable approaches to food in the Central Texas region. He works with and only serves locally sourced produce, meat and dairy.
In addition to selling artisanal meats, condiments, and preserves at farmers’ markets, he’s fed hundreds of people at his supper clubs, and has in the last three years offered deer and hog schools at the Madroño Ranch in Medina, Texas. “I felt there was a need for this kind of intensive immersion, and I was right. The response has been huge!” With a tone of urgency, he added, “People know how to hunt and almost categorically don’t know what to do with the meat afterwards.”
Griffiths believes it is critical to teach people who have spent time and money hunting and harvesting these animals how to care for them in the field and in the kitchen. “We have a culture of hunting game, but not of eating game. These people know they want to eat what they harvest, but not how to go about it.”
With Jesse’s new book, Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, published by Welcome Books, more people will be able to share his dream.
UPCOMING COOKING DEMOS AND BOOK SIGNINGS
Signed copies of Afield will be available every Saturday at at the Dai Due booth at the Downtown Farmers’ Market beginning Saturday, September 22, 2012.
Central Market Classes with Jesse Griffiths:
Go beyond “eating local” and explore the renewed interest in hunting or fishing for your meal and preparing your bounty at home. In partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife, learn the basics of butchery and how to break down a duck, rabbit and quail while supping on Wild Boar Carnitas, among other dishes. Class cost includes one copy of Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Cooking. For Ages 18 & Up
Register for Central Market classes: http://www.centralmarket.com/cooking-school.aspx.
- Grilled Semi-boneless Quail
- Duck 3 Ways with Prunes & Apples
- Braised Rabbit with Mustard Sauce
- Tacos with Wild Boar Carnitas
$75, includes one copy of Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Cooking.
Central Market Cooking School, Houston
Date: Tuesday, September 25
Time: Class is from 6:30-9:00 PM
Location: 3815 Westheimer, Houston TX 77027
Central Market Cooking School, San Antonio
Date: Wednesday, September 26
Time: Class is 6:30 to 9PM
Location: 4821 Broadway St, San Antonio TX 78209
Central Market Cooking School, Dallas
Date: Thursday, September 27
Time: 6:30 PM to 9PM
Location: 5750 East Lovers Ln. Dallas, TX 75206
Central Market Cooking School, Fort Worth
Date: Friday, September 28
Time: 6:30 PM to 9PM
Location: 4651 West Freeway, Fort Worth TX 76107
Central Market Cooking School, Southlake
Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 6:30 PM to 9PM
Location: 1425 E. Southlake Blvd, Southlake TX 76092
Central Market Cooking School, Austin
Date: Sunday, November 18
Time: 12:30 PM – 2PM
Location: 4001 N. Lamar Blvd ,Austin TX 78756
Events for Afield:
Event: Demo and Book Signing with Jesse Griffiths, hosted by the Sustainable Food Center
Place: Downtown Farmer’s Market
422 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78701
- Date: Saturday, November 3
- Time: The market is open from 9am to 1pm; demo/signing, TBD
- Phone: (512) 236-0074
Check the Sustainable Food Center’s website for more information.
Event: Book Signing
Place: Book People
- Date: Friday, December 14
- Time: 7 PM CT (please call to confirm)
- Location: 603 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78703
- Phone: (512) 472-5050
Check the Book People website for more information.
Events for Dai Due Austin:
Jesse’s 2012 Hunting Schools are coming up. For more information Dai Due events: