Eat Seasonally and Locally with Chef Tory McPhail’s

Commander’s Wild Side

$29.99

Eat Seasonally and Locally with Chef Tory McPhail’s

Commander’s Wild Side

$29.99

Today’s cooks, and the people they feed, are intensely interested in the sourcing of their food. Are these shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or Vietnam? Are these peaches from Georgia or Chile?

This fascination with food sourcing is reflected in the organization of Chef Tory McPhail’s new cookbook, “Commander’s Wild Side,” a collection of his favorite, flavor-packed recipes from the restaurant’s legendary kitchen.

The book, McPhail’s first, is broken into four main sections that focus on natural food sources: Sea, Stream, Air, and Land.

The idea is to make it easier to cook the day’s catch, or market find, from just one section, with the side dishes, and even desserts, fitting in with one another.

I’ve always been frustrated by typical cookbooks that list crabmeat in four different areas. I’ve organized the chapters so it would be easier for you to cook your day’s catch from one section.

What can you expect from this cookbook?

Inspired ingredients and bold flavors for every season…

  • “Commander’s Wild Side” combines the freshest ingredients available, close to the source, with the cultivated yet adventurous flavors of New Orleans’ iconic Commander’s Palace. McPhail co-authored the book with Ti Adelaide Martin, co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, who has appeared alongside Chef Tory as a guest judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and shares his passion for hunting and fishing.
  • Menu suggestions reflect the pleasures of the seasons when naturally sourced ingredients are most readily available. For instance, the hunting season for deer and elk is in the fall, when cooler weather stokes appetites for richer, heartier flavors. Summertime dishes, such as the grilled wahoo and tropical fruit skewers with coconut rum dipping sauce, would be a favorite in warmer weather, with the bright flavors’ power to refresh appetites blunted by the heat of the Florida Keys.
  • A section at the end of the cookbook lists resources for obtaining wild game, but the recipes also suggest non-game substitutions, such as ground pork for the Natchitoches pie, or grilled lamb or pork chops for the Southern Comfort-Apricot Glaze.
  • The cookbook was inspired by Commander’s Palace’s “Off the Menu” television series, which Chef Tory hosted for six years beginning in 2001. The Turner South Network series invited viewers to come along with Chef Tory and his guests to fishing destinations from a Gulf of Mexico oil rig to Costa Rica, and on hunting expeditions that yield the key ingredients for Natchitoches alligator pie or Grilled Wild Boar Chops with Southern Comfort-Apricot Glaze.
  • The cookbook is not all elk and conch and dove, of course. For something more traditional, you can try Roasted Beet Salad or Lemon and Garlic Grilled Pork. The point (and the strong theme of the cookbook that threads through) is to use the best, freshest ingredients available, and prepare the food in a way that enhances their natural flavors. Bon appetit!

Preparing wild game isn’t hard, and being in a natural landscape makes the connection with your meal even more satisfying.