Chefs Celebrate the Thrill of the Hunt

Game Time

‘Tis the season for chefs to be at the top of their game with pheasant and elk and duck, oh my!

Chefs Celebrate the Thrill of the HuntWith a chill in the air, chefs are responding with a bounty of dishes and menus celebrating game in all its glory. While most think of “game season” as a time for football, these toques can be found huddled on a different type of field where they zero-in on everything from pheasant to fowl and wild fungi. For them, it’s all deluxe, delicious, and fair game on the plate…

BOURBON STEAK at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
At the meat-centric BOURBON STEAK within the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, chef Joe Palma offers an eight-ounce Venison Filet from Millbrook Farm, Connecticut on his menu. Amid the two-dozen cuts [making it the most robust steak menu in the DC metropolitan area], look for this juicy special under the aptly named “Where the Wild Things Are” section.

Brasserie Beck – Washington, DC
As an avid hunter who finds inspiration from the bounty and spoils of game season, it is no surprise that this is chef Robert Wiedmaier’s favorite time of year. At his lively brasserie, chef de cuisine Dean Dupuis puts a game bird and mushrooms together which customarily complement each other in a hearty, autumnal dish of Roasted Rohan Duck Breast with Crispy Calasparra Rice Cake, Fried Duck Egg, Pickled Carrots, Cremini Mushrooms, and Fermented Soybean Duck Jus.

Brennan’s – New Orleans, LA
Chef Slade Rushing grew up hunting with his father and brother in southern Mississippi, and still considers the immediacy and intensity of flavor in a meal of fresh game about as good as it gets. His Plum Lacquered Roasted Duck, Plum and Ginger Glazed free-range Pekin Duck Breast with Chickpea Panisse and Watercress, is as glamorous as Brennan’s, itself, a grande dame of New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Cured – San Antonio, TX
At Cured in San Antonio, chef Steve McHugh plays the game and nods to the state’s most popular seasonal hunting target: quail. Inflecting his farm-to-table style, he serves Pan-seared Quail with rustic finesse along with Herbed Anson-Mills Grits, Pickled Butternut Squash and local Arugula.

Marcel’s – Washington, DC
At chef Robert Wiedmaier’s DC flagship, Marcel’s, he and his chef de cuisine Paul Stearman are currently showcasing exotic and domestic game, like Squab en Croute with Duxelle Mushrooms, Root Vegetable Purée & Bordelaise Sauce and Colorado Elk Loin with Sweet Potato Purée, Port Reduction & Molé Powder. Wiedmaier is game to showcase the great outdoors in elegantly presented dishes like his Pheasant Ravioli, which pops up on his seasonally dynamic menu.

Masseria – Washington, DC
Washington’s newly Michelin-starred Masseria is making an annual tradition of its five-course “Truffle & Game” chef’s menu. This year, chef Nicholas Stefanelli presents a parade of dishes that range from Smoked Pheasant, Rillette, Parsnip, and Kohlrabi to Venison, Salsify, Apricots, and Coffee. Stefanelli makes a point to get out in the field and go hunting a few times a year, but he leaves it to the pigs and professionals to track down truffles!

So, hunt no further for the fullest flavors of the season: just look to the menus of these chefs, many hunters, themselves, and all at the top of their game.

Bourbon Steak | 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW |
Brasserie Beck | 1101 K Street NW, Washington, DC |
Brennan’s | 417 Royal Street New Orleans, LA |
Cured at Pearl | 306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 101, San Antonio, Texas |
Marcel’s | 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW |
Masseria | 1340 4th Street NE – Washington, DC |