On Friday, July 27 from 6-9pm, individuals gathered at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) for an evening of archery, wild game dishes, and unique drinks.
Archery lessons started promptly at 6pm on the range for half of the group, while the remaining participants were allowed to walk about the building for 30 minutes and experience all that the OAC has to offer to its guests. Half way through the hour, the groups switched roles and at 7pm after the archery range was closed, dinner and drinks opened to guests upstairs. A welcome message was given by DNR’s Natalie Cypher and afterwards Gourmet Gone Wild’s own chef Dixie Dave with World Wide Food Group presented the dishes to be served: sweet coconut encrusted walleye with piña colada sauce, savory duck and goose marsala, squirrel stuffed mushroom caps, and venison forestiere. To accompany these dishes, Ugly Dog Distillery provided a bloody mary bar with their signature bacon vodka, as well as their rum, gin, and vodka spirits with mixers. Additionally, Atwater Brewery brought craft beer selections for guests to enjoy with their meals.
As guests began to settle in and enjoy their dishes, DNR Wildlife Communications Coordinator Holly Vaughn delivered a very informative and interactive presentation on Michigan hunting opportunities and native species. Followed by Vaughn was Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ Education Coordinator Shaun McKeon who introduced the Learn To Hunt program, which was recently taken over by MUCC. He provided the goals and objectives of this program, and discussed what participants should expect in upcoming events.
There were many conversations throughout the night between the guests and chef Dixie Dave about his favorite recipes, how he became involved in gourmet wild game cooking and his thoughts on the locavore movement. Additionally, guests shared their own hunting stories with one another, and discussed their thoughts on Michigan conservation success and efforts.
The night came to an end as 9pm approached and guests began to make their way home. It was a great night to sample these wild dishes and drinks in an incredibly unique space, and to create an environment that fostered communication about important conservation topics.
For information on future Gourmet Gone Wild events, please click here.