01/30/14 1:44pm

If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll do the right thing.

This Sunday marks an event I have been eagerly awaiting. And I’m not talking about Super Bowl XLVIII either. Heck I’m barely sure which teams are taking to the gridiron. No I am referring to an event that has much more significance to me this frigid winter than a mere football game.  I’m talking about Groundhog Day people. I’m sure hoping that Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow because I’m not sure I can deal with six more weeks of this brutal New York City winter.

The good folks over at Rave Review Original Culinary Spirits™ are offering the little fellah some incentive to do the right thing in the form of a recipe that would make a delicious Super Bowl treat for later that day if the Groundhog sees his shadow and tries to bring us more of this nasty winter. And heck even if he doesn’t see his shadow I’m going to be sure to share this recipe with my pal Baron Ambrosia, who has eaten more than his fair share of small game. (more…)

03/06/13 12:15pm
Baron Ambrosia and a friend from Garifuna with her mamare, a traditional beverage made from rice and beer.

Baron Ambrosia and a friend from Garifuna.                                                  Photo:Chris Crowley

It was a dark and stormy night, and my mood was even darker. I’d trekked to a bleak industrial section of Ridgewood to join some friends for dinner and gotten lost twice on the way. It would have been OK if the food was worth the hassle, but it wasn’t. Then a gift from the gods fell into my lap. “Do you want me to see if I can get you into the Baron’s small game dinner on Saturday?” Chris Crowley, Serious Eats New York’s Bronx guru, asked. The Baron in question is none other than Baron Ambrosia, the over-the-top “quaffer of culinary consciousness” and star of Cooking Channel’s The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia. Naturally I said yes as I am a big fan of the Baron and was eager to see what his small game dinner was about. After all the only small game I’ve tried are quail, rabbit, and guinea pig.

The next day I received a flowery e-mail inviting me to The Third Annual Bronx Pipe Smoking Society Small Game Dinner. Among the items listed on this year’s catch were raccoons, beavers, skunks, gray foxes, red foxes, possums, bob cats, and coyote. And there was a dress code: “Black tie is the minimum.Tuxedos, colors, beads, medals, traditional garbs, kilts, turbans, wearable weapons, ball gowns, peg legs, and military dress are all encouraged.”

Rebel Chef Terry French prepared sassafras smoked coyote for the evenings festivities.

Rebel Chef Terry French.    Photo: Chris Crowley

One of the first things I noticed outside the stately Andrew Freedman home was a small smoker and a large gent clad in furs. He looked and spoke like a cross between a backwoods barbarian and Hulk Hogan. This turned out to be Rebel Chef Terry French, champion of Food Network’s Extreme Chef. As one fellow attendee noted later in the evening, “I feel overdressed and undercostumed.”