electronic Gourmet Guide


Wild Fish & Game Cookbook

Pheasants and Mallards and Boars, oh my!


Chef, writer, and artist John Manikowski guides you through the "wild side" of culinary life in his Wild Fish & Game Cookbook...

Wild Fish & Game Cookbook

The tantalizing aromas of game grilling over an open campfire fill the night air. The sky is star-studded. Your waders are soaked, and the wine is reaching perfect drinking temperature, safely nestled in your down jacket. Welcome to the great outdoors and to roughing it. Even if this is not your vision of the ideal dining experience, John Manikowski's Wild Fish & Game Cookbook (Artisan, October 1997, $35.00) will tempt you to try a taste of the wild at home.

Fortunately, you don't have to get a hunting license or pitch a tent to enjoy freshly cured fish, smoked wild duck, or roasted venison. Wild fish and game can now be found in many restaurants and local supermarkets around the country, as well as being available farm-raised from specialty mail-order companies. What's more, wild fish and game meat can be tremendously tender and flavorful. It contains significant amounts of protein and other important nutrients, and it's low in fat.

"The recipes in this book, for the most part, contain only small quantities of cream, butter, milk, eggs, salt and presalted products and ingredients considered rich and unhealthy. There are other ways to influence otherwise bland-tasting foods; herbs, spices, rich stocks, smoking, fruits, and nuts in various combinations makes food taste good," says Manikowski in his introduction to the Wild Fish & Game Cookbook.

Home-smoked salmon, white fish terrine delicately wrapped in bokchoy, warm smoked duck, venison pot roast, and buffalo london broil are among the 100 recipes for appetizers, sauces, entrees, vegetables and desserts, which can be prepared in the kitchen if you're not the outdoors type.

Wild Fish and Game Cookbook is more than just a cookbook. It is part travel log, in words and images, of Manikowski's experiences in the wild. He has fished for trout in the wilderness of Ontario, shot caribou in Labrador, hunted duck in upstate New York, and fought with a 300-pound, 8-foot marlin off the coast of Mexico. From the Berkshires to Guatemala, from Scotland to Montana. he has taken on countless hunting and fishing expeditions; and in so doing, he has perfected his methods for preparing freshly grilled or smoked fish, poultry, and game meat.

Manikowski is the former co-owner of two popular restaurants that both specialized in serving wild game. He has hunted and fished since he was 12 years-old and skillfully combines his wide experience in the wilderness with his expertise in the kitchen. His recipes are always elegantly simple, calling for basic and fresh ingredients such as chopped herbs, cracked black peppercorn, spring onions, and juniper berries, which all add to the meals special "outdoor" flavor.

The Wild Fish & Game Cookbook is accompanied by full-color photographs bv Zeva Oelbaum and 25 wildlife illustrations by the author. Suggestions are offered for wines that best complement each dish, along with a selection of sumptuous dessert recipes such as peach tart, apple cobbler with buttermilk crust, and orange custard.

Special features include instructions on preparing a smoker and a charcoal grill. directions for boning and curing fish. And an extensive mail-order source list for farm-raised fish and game.

About the Author:


John Manikowski was born in Minnesota and is a veteran hunter and angler. He was a partner in two restaurants that specialized in game—Konkapot in Mill River, Mass., and Charleston in Hudson, N.Y. He has a masters degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and his work has been exhibited in several galleries in New York and around the United States. He has written for several local newspapers and magazines about fishing, hunting, and tile outdoors for more than 15 years. This is his first cookbook.

About the Photographer:

Zeva Oelbaum is a still life and food photographer based in New York. Her books include The Vegetarian Table: India, Creole Flavors, and 1001 Snacks.


Wild Fish & Game Cookbook
by John Manikowski
Photography by Zeva Oelbaum
Artisan, $35.00
192 pages; October 1997
ISBN 1-885183-50-X


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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

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Modified August 2007