Where do I begin? It seems an impossible task to share just how I feel about Scott Leysath – the Original. You know when you feel like you’ve known someone your entire life and you’re trying to give a synopsis of all that time and experience? Well, that’s how I feel right now, but here goes.
I met Scott while we were both writing wild game and sustainable living cookbooks for the same publishing company. A mutual friend and outdoor writer, Alan Clemons, introduced us, and the rest is history. Scott so kindly asked this “green” girl (now lady…I’m no spring chicken anymore) to be on his TV show, The Sporting Chef, and I was ecstatic to say the least. I can honestly say, I have never lost that excitement for being on the show.
The Sporting Chef: Wild, Organic, and Always Delicious!
The Sporting Chef has always been and will continue to be a fast-paced, everything wild, foraged, organic, and DELICIOUS kind of show. The prerequisite for a recipe to “make it” on the show: it must be delicious. You’ll really be missing out if you miss an episode. I guarantee that.
Although I am taking over as host, Scott is still very much present in the background of the show, producing. Thank the good Lord! I mean that.
Scott always has a way of adding a tip or piece of advice that changes the result of the dish, whether it be a quick sauce to add or a plating technique. I remember him quizzing me, then teaching me about what makes aioli a true aioli. I remember him making sure I let people know to be extra careful handling rabbits to avoid catching tularemia, or “rabbit fever.”
Just recently on the upcoming shows, Scott showed me a meat packing technique when we were making the burgers that forever changed the way I will make burgers! He is just that amazing. In cooking, it’s all the little tips and tricks that makes the difference.
Scott Leysath, Our Brother from Another Mother
Scott and I have a kinship that extends to my whole family. He’s been coming to the house every year for 9 years to film each season’s episodes. My kids know him like an uncle. My husband — also named Scott — knows him like a brother. Over the years, Scott has seen our family at our best, our worst, and everything in between.
On his podcast, Off the Record, we chatted a little about the time I got the dates crossed in the calendar and he “showed up a day early!” One of the kids came in the house saying, “Scott Leysath is here,” just as nonchalantly as ever as I was walking barefoot in sweats with a towel around my head of dripping hair, face with no make-up, and a load of clothes in my arms headed for the laundry room. I was like, “Oh, really,” in disbelief.
Sure enough, I looked out the window, and Scott, Corey, and Jim were unloading all the equipment for filming. Well, hmmm. I ran outside in my alarmed state and said, “I’ll be ready when you are finished setting up.” That season’s episodes, my hair was tightly up on my head, curly, in every episode! So funny.
Since we hunt and fish, our freezer was stocked. Since we garden, we had plenty of sides. We finished all 12 segments! It was empowering to know we could bring something from nothing at a moment’s notice.
Scott has become a trusted, life-long friend. When he asked me if I would be interested in taking the reins to host The Sporting Chef, giving him time to produce more shows (which is doing at super-hero speed), I was floored and speechless for a few seconds. Then “YES! I love this show, YES,” was all I could say.
I have always believed whoever watches The Sporting Chef will absolutely become a pro at cooking wild game and creating meals worth eating. If you can cook tough meats, you can cook anything. After a few seasons of this show, YOU will most definitely know how to cook — to really cook.
More than anything, I hope you will watch this season. It’s packed full of fun, excitement, and deliciousness!!!
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