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Austin Chef and Author Focuses on Wild Turkeys for His Next Cookbook

Jesse Griffiths’s third book, ‘The Turkey Book,’ is publishing in March

A plate of fried turkey surrounded by plates of food.
Fried turkey.
Jody Horton
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Austin chef of New Texan restaurant Dai Due and author, Jesse Griffiths, is publishing this third book this year. This time, he’s turning his attention to turkeys through The Turkey Book: A Chef’s Journal of Hunting and Cooking America’s Bird, which will be out in March.

The Turkey Book documents Griffiths hunting of and traveling through turkey regions in America with his friend and hunter Ben O’Brien, within Texas, Oregon, Georgia, and Connecticut. Along with their experience, there are stories with local hunters and chefs. The book also features photography by Jody Horton (who had shot Griffiths’s other books) and Sam Averett.

Griffiths also shares how to break down turkeys, from plucking feathers to butchering. And then there will be more than 100 recipes, including entomatadas de guajolote (a sort-of enchilada dish that is fried and covered in tomato sauce), grilled turkey paillards with piri piri butter, wild turkey kiev, fried turkey, breakfast with white pudding, smoked turkey legs, and much more.

Someone cutting into a fried piece of meat on a plate with mashed potatoes and sauteed greens and broth.
The wild turkey kiev.
Jody Horton
A plate with fried eggs, two patties, and toast next to a cup of coffee.
A breakfast plate with white pudding.
Jody Horton

The book is being published by St. John Press, which is based in Austin. And, as a way to highlight conservation and hunting nonprofit the National Wild Turkey Federation, people who sign up for a year membership with the group can add-on a purchase of the book at a discount.

Griffiths’s first book, Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, was published in 2012. He followed that with The Hog Book: A Chef’s Guide to Hunting, Preparing and Cooking Wild Pigs in 2021. Both books were nominated for James Beard Foundation’s media awards during their respective times in the Single Subject category. Hog Book won the medal in 2022.

Griffiths started his acclaimed New Texan restaurant Dai Due as a farmers market stand in 2008, which turned into a physical restaurant-slash-butcher shop in Austin’s Cherrywood neighborhood in 2014. He also runs the New School of Traditional Cookery, where he teaches people how to cook, hunt, and fish, and how to butcher their catches.

Two men in the shadows of trees hunting turkeys in the distance.
Jesse Griffiths and Ben O’Brien hunting turkeys in Georgia.
Sam Averett

Update, 4:59 p.m.: This article, originally published at 1:37 p.m., has been updated to clarify the nature of the book’s relationship with the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Dai Due

2406 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 524-0688 Visit Website