Despite loving the city life and all of its perks, we admit we have a girl crush on Georgia Pellegrini, classically trained chef, hunter, author and creator of Girl Hunter Adventure Weekends. Even we city folk need to get out and experience the great outdoors every once and a while. And these are no ordinary camping trips.
Pellegrini has combined all of her passions to offer unforgettable weekends in the wild that make roughing it seem chic and easy. Think fly fishing in Montana, quail hunting with trained dogs in Georgia, or star gazing and S'more roasting in Virginia. She even offers adventure weekends in the Texas Hill Country.
"Each location has a unique set of attributes and experiences," Pellegrini says. "We spend a lot of time vetting the location, understanding what makes it special and crafting the ideal experience for guests."
Pellegrini is a modern-day pioneer woman; think Annie Oakley meets Carrie Bradshaw.
Pellegrini says her adventure getaways reflect her food philosophy of tapping into a more fundamental state of being, of stepping away from the familiar and experiencing food straight from the source. She also loves bringing together women who enter the weekend as strangers and leave as lifelong friends.
"They enjoy that they are in a safe place to try new things without judgment and can cheer each other on in the process," Pellegrini says. "A lot of them are hunting, fly fishing, riding ATV's, learning to make bacon, field dressing a bird or tying flies for the very first time. It is empowering for them."
Prices for these weekends vary; however, most seem to fall in the $2,000-$4,000 range. That price tag includes swanky lodging, sipping Champagne and eating chef-driven meals. It does not include airfare.
For an idea of what to expect, check out the details on the upcoming trip to Montana (Sept. 20-22). And know these trips may require a bit of homework beforehand — such as getting your fishing, conservation and upland bird licenses.
So who exactly is this haute huntress? Pellegrini is a modern-day pioneer woman; think Annie Oakley meets Carrie Bradshaw. After starting her career on Wall Street, Pellegrini decided to switch gears and became a student at New York City’s French Culinary Institute.
After working in Michelin-starred kitchens in France and New York’s most celebrated farm-to-table restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, she discovered her true love: the source of food for her dishes. So she left the kitchen and began her passion of “hunting and gathering.”
Her experiences culminate in her most recent book, Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time, which details her experiences traveling the country hunting her own meat in an effort to step outside of the industrial food system. She is also working on on a new project called Modern Pioneering, which will consist of recipes, DIY projects, gardening tips and more.
Despite her travels across the United States, she maintains a home base in Austin. Texas is just in her blood, she says: 95 percent of her family lives in the Lone Star State.
"My great-grandfather George W. Gray lived here until he went up north while in his 30s during his career as a writer," Pellegrini says. "That move is how I ended up being from the Northeast. It’s also probably how I ended up being a writer. And how I ended up moving to Texas. And it is where I got my name.
"Life really does come full circle sometimes, even if it takes a few generations. Austin is now where I’ll be keeping my home base. I love it here."