By Jessica Shaw
March 08, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine

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Vegetarians and all others who might get queasy at 300-plus pages of shooting ram, crushing crawfish, and stuffing a half duck inside an antelope bladder might want to opt against cracking the binding of Outside writer Steven Rinella’s memoir, The Scavenger?s Guide to Haute Cuisine. As if possessed by legendary chef Auguste Escoffier, Rinella embarks on a year-long quest to hunt, gather, and scavenge in order to prepare the ultimate three-day Thanksgiving feast. There are moments of compelling storytelling, as when Rinella visits his dying father in Michigan, but the remainder of the book feels like a tediously detailed diary. No doubt Escoffier would appreciate the intricate details of cooking up bladders, snapping turtle, and something called ”caul fat,” but the rest of us might wish for better dinner conversation.

The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine

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