Forest to Table Dining and Shotgunning with Hank Shaw

    California Waterfowl (CWA) recently had a fantastic fundraiser dinner at the Pacific Rod & Gun Club here in San Francisco. James Beard Award winning Chef Hank Shaw was the lead attraction and his thing is that everything he eats is either hunted, fished, foraged, or grown. The multi-course, wine-paired menu reflected his personal passion and food philosophy. The Stag Dining Group hosted Hank as a Guest Chef, and this was my fourth event of this format with the Stags.

    However, the evening did not start off with food, it started off with shotguns. I was one of two instructors guiding 45 guests through the use of a 20 gauge Beretta autoloader at Station 7. Many guests had never fired a shotgun before and so I saw a mix of apprehension, fear, and doubt on many faces. However, all shooters eventually had humongous smiles on their faces as I taught them the core fundamentals and them busting clays. During the shooting, guests were treated to an amazing charcuterie spread and non-alcoholic beverages.

    [The author teaching a guest how to bust clays. Picture courtesy of @StagDining on Instagram.]

    After a few hours of shotgunning, we put the guns away and went to the clubhouse for cocktails and wine. Then the magic of Hank Shaw was on full display with appetizers such as buffalo duck wings and a main dish of boar lasagna. Served family style, no guest went home hungry.

    [Buffalo duck wings, by Hank Shaw. Picture courtesy of @huntgathercook on Instagram.]

    [Wild boar lasagna. Picture courtesy of @StagDining on Instagram.]

    The CWA had a raffle for many prizes, including a one-day duck hunt, two Remington 1187 shotguns (used at the Bohemian Club no less), knives, cases of ammo, and many other neat items.

    [A very happy Stag Dining chef wins one of the Remington 1187 shotguns. Picture courtesy of @StagDining on Instagram.]

    [The evening’s menu. Picture courtesy of @TopShotChris on Instagram.]

    What I love about what Stag Dining is doing with these quarterly shotgun and fine-dining experiences is that they expose a whole new demographic to the shooting sports. Many times at these dinners, all the food is hunted or fished and during dinner we get to hear the details from the folks who bagged the game. It’s a fantastic way to help people connect with our food and understand that hunting and fishing are the ultimate organic, sustainable, and healthy way of eating.

    [Hank Shaw’s awesome book “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Picture courtesy of @TopShotChris on Instagram.]

    The next time you’re in the San Francisco/Bay Area, come join the Stags for a fun time! (I’m actually doing another event on November 22nd with them – details here)

    Chris Cheng

    Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

    He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.