Author, forager, and wild food advocate Hank Shaw finally had his "olympic moment," winning the James Beard Award for Best Individual Food Blog this year—his third year to be nominated.
Author of the popular wild foods blog, Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook and a book called Hunt, Gather, Cook, Shaw has been writing about wild, unusual, and forgotten foods on his blogs and in his books for years, and after two nominations without a win, found that the third time was the charm.
Shaw describes himself as "the omnivore who has solved his dilemma." As the name of his blog implies, he hunts and gathers much of his own food and grows most of the rest at his home in Sacramento, CA. His blog includes recipes and how-tos for cooking and preparing what you hunt and gather, as well as essays on the ethical and philosophical implications of both.
2013 was a good year for wild food enthusiasts at the James Beard Awards, with many other wild foodies nominated, including Tama Matsuoka and Chef Eddy LeRoux for their Foraged Flavor; Jesse Griffiths for his Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish; Steven Rinella for his TV show Meateater; and Kirk Lombard for his webcast The Curious Adventures of Kirk Lombard.
To win the James Beard Award in the highly competitive individual blog category (or any category, really) has been compared to wining an Oscar—or as Shaw (a former competitive runner) put it himself on his blog, an Olympic medal in food: "That’s when it hit me: This was my Olympic medal. For many years I was a distance runner, and a pretty good one, too. [...] Wearing the Beard medal around my neck, it felt like this was as close as I’d ever get to standing on that podium."
Shaw has a new book coming out in October and available for pre-order: Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Waterfowl, Both Farmed and Wild (Ten Speed Press, $24.99).