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Cooking in the Wild West: Tips From a Montana Ranch Chef

Cooking in the Wild West: Tips From a Montana Ranch Chef

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Feel the wind at your back, and the grass underneath your feet…learn to cook like a cowboy! Whether you find yourself on a 6,000-acre ranch in the middle of cattle country, or you are simply looking to grill better steaks on your Weber, we have some tips from Craig Moore, a guest chef at Bell Cross Ranch in Cascade, Mont., about digging in your spurs and cooking meat to perfection in the wide-open air.

The wind isn’t always your friend — The biggest challenge with cooking on a mountaintop or a prairie is the wind threatening to blow out your fire. Chef Moore said that he and his team always line the chafing dishes with tin foil to keep wind from blowing out the fire of the Sterno. He also suggests cooking at the bottom of a mountain or hill rather than the top, so you’re shielded.

Pre-cook meat indoors if you can — The elements sometimes aren’t with you. From the wind, rain, and snow, or critters who may want to crash your grilling party, Moore said that he and his team pre-cook indoors to make sure conditions are as close to perfect as possible.

Your grill can make or break your meal — Moore very rarely cooks over an open flame, preferring instead to use a grill. But when it comes to sturdy grills, expensive doesn’t always mean better. “There seems to be trend with wealthy people at these western lodges buying shiny stainless steel grills, and most of them are horrible and practically useless,” said Moore. He suggests going with a simple Weber grill for cooking in the great outdoors, or a large cowboy fire pit grill for larger parties.

Cook over the coals for that authentic western taste — “Charcoal has a flavor you can’t duplicate,” says Moore.

Nothing beats local meat —It depends on where you call your grill home, but chef Moore said that nothing beats local meat from Montana, a state known for its cattle. “I guarantee you anyone around here could tell the difference between local beef and not,” said Moore. “It’s much more flavorful.” He says that it doesn’t matter whether the label says grass-fed or comes from high-end grocery store, there’s nothing like beef from the ranch next door.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi

Northeast BBQ chef shares best tips for cooking fresh fish in new book

Great news: Two years after the release of his “Venison,” author Jon Wipfli’s latest work is now in bookstores.

“Fish: Recipes and Techniques for Freshwater Fish” (Harvard Common Press, $25) nimbly combines Wipfli’s passion for fishing with his cooking expertise, skills acquired while working in the kitchens of top New York City and Twin Cities restaurants. (See a recipe for Salt, Sugar and Dill-Cured Salmon here.)

Wipfli, chef/owner of Animales Barbeque Co. in northeast Minneapolis, fashions imaginative recipes that extend trout, sturgeon, salmon, walleye and other familiar species far beyond the basic pan-fried shore lunch. (The recipes and helpful step-by-step techniques are vividly captured by photographer Colleen Eversman, a Twin Citian now working in San Francisco.)

In a recent phone conversation, Wipfli discussed his obsession with muskie fishing, his fascination with salt domes and his retail source for freshwater fish.

Q: When did you start fishing?

A: I grew up fishing. We fished the way everyone fishes in Minnesota and Wisconsin, catching bluegills, crappies and walleyes, and a little bit of bass fishing. As I got older I started doing stream fly fishing in Wisconsin, and that was a lot of fun. Then I moved to Montana, where I started doing quite a bit of fly fishing. After living in Oregon and New York, I came back here. That’s when I got into muskie fishing in Wisconsin, and that’s primarily what I do now.

Q: Fishing for muskies, and following a catch-and-release protocol, doesn’t seem like a natural avocation for a cook. What drew you to muskies?

A: I love summer muskie fishing. There’s nothing better in the whole world. When I first started, I thought, ‘This is stupid we’re not even keeping the fish.’ But a friend said, ‘Wait until you catch your first one.’ He was right. It was a 46-inch muskie, in northern Wisconsin. My pole broke. It’s an addiction now. It’s not even a question of what we’re going to do. We’re going to fish for muskies.

Q: Are you an ice fisherman?

A: Dude, I hate ice fishing. It’s so cold. I just do it because my friends do it, and it’s a reason to get outside and do something. But if I had my choice, I wouldn’t be sitting on a plastic bucket in 10 degrees. You do get to catch fish and drink beer. And fish do taste a little better when they’re coming out of ice-cold water.

Q: There’s a fair amount of campfire cooking in the book. Why do you like to cook over fire?

A: The whole thing comes down to flavor, and being outside, doing something outside. When you catch something that you want to cook, and you have the opportunity to sit outside at a campfire that’s probably already going, you’re going to get the best flavor and the best overall experience.

Q: Are there any tools that you have to have when you’re cooking over an open fire, or do you improvise?

A: You look around and take whatever is near and make it work. Anyone can do it. It might take a bit of practice. But a lot of the best meals that we have aren’t the ones that are scripted out. They’re the ones where you look around and do whatever you can by putting together the ingredients and the equipment that you have. You learn a little bit about cooking every time you do that. You might screw it up sometimes, but most of the time it turns out.

Q: What’s a common mistake that cooks make with freshwater fish?

A: For any fish, it’s keeping it as fresh as possible, whether it’s gutting it and cleaning it as soon as possible, or freezing it properly. Fish doesn’t sit well at room temperature for a long time. If you’re camping, keep the fish alive in colder water, then gut and clean them as a group, working as rapidly as possible, and then cook.

Q: For cooks who don’t fish, where do you recommend they purchase the fish that you highlight in the book?

A: The Fish Guys always have high-quality Canadian walleye on hand. I’ve special-ordered Canadian crappies from them a couple of times, and perch, even bluegill. [Find the company’s Almanac Fish counter at the Market House Collaborative, 289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-202-3413,]

Q: In the book, you wrote, “If I was able to cook everything under a giant dome of salt, I’m pretty sure that’d be the only way I’d cook.” Why?

A: It’s a fun process. First of all, it’s visually entertaining. But more than that, when you’re cooking like that, you’re basically encapsulating protein in a big, moist environment, and using the fish’s natural qualities to lightly steam itself. You crack it open and you wipe away the salt. The meat falls off the bone, and it’s the perfect way to cook a piece of fish.

Q: You mention a number of Twin Cities chefs in the book, including Yia Vang of Union Hmong Kitchen and Paul Berglund, your former boss at the Bachelor Farmer. Is cooking a collaborative process for you?

A: These guys have been such influences in my life, as far as cooking goes, so I like to give credit where credit is due. They also bring flavors to the table that I wouldn’t think of, it’s just not in my background.

Q: There are 50 recipes in the book, and they really run the gamut. Is it easy for you to create and write recipes?

A: Making recipes is incredibly easy so is testing them. When it comes to the writing, I shouldn’t say “hate,” but it doesn’t come naturally. I really dislike having exact amounts — baking is different — although I understand why it’s necessary. You don’t want people to follow recipes verbatim. You want them to look at the ingredients, which can have varying characteristics, and make adjustments accordingly. That’s why I talk in the book about how recipes should be used as a guideline, rather than an exact formula.

Q: Will we be seeing walleye, or trout, or catfish on the menu at Animales?

A: We don’t put any fish in the smokers. It’s subtle, but they taint it. If we ever expand and add separate smokers, we’ll do it for sure.

Q: OK, you’ve written a venison cookbook, and a freshwater fish cookbook. What’s the next edible creature that’s going to capture your attention?

A: We’ve already started — it’s a long road — but we’re moving towards barbecue.

Rick Nelson • @RickNelsonStrib

Rick Nelson joined the staff of the Star Tribune in 1998 and is the newspaper's restaurant critic. He is a Twin Cities native, a University of Minnesota graduate and a James Beard Award winner.

How to Cook Over a Campfire

Although s’mores and hot dogs probably come to mind when you think of campfire food, you can cook just about anything over a campfire with the right tools. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure you are building a fire in a safe place.
  • Use the right equipment and method for the food you wish to cook.
  • Never use plastic in campfire cooking, as plastic melts.

As you will soon see, some cooking tools make campfire cooking a cinch, while others are a little more involved. It all comes down to the time and effort you want to put into meal creation, and how long you plan to camp. Preparation is key.

Open-Fire Cookware

When you picture cowboy campfire cooking equipment, you probably do not envision a cowboy stirring stew in a plastic bucket.

Cast-iron cooking equipment is a must-have for a camping trip. Wrought iron uses a different manufacturing method than cast iron, and it is unlikely you will see wrought-iron campfire cooking equipment at the campground. Titanium, steel and aluminum are also common materials in camping cookware.

The first piece of open-fire cookware you will need is the right cooking surface.

1. Cooking Surfaces

Here are a few potential cooking surfaces to get you started:

  • Grill grate: A grill grate is a simple and useful tool for cooking over an open fire. A grill grate creates a safe, stable surface for cooking food directly or placing a pan or Dutch oven on top of it. An over-the-fire camping grill looks like a small metal table with a design that sits over a fire. Just make sure not to cook bacon or anything that produces a lot of fat drippings directly on the grill, as that could spark too many flames. A lot of fun, scrumptious recipes like Campfire Banana Boats are easy to throw together and toss on a grill.
  • Rotisserie grill and spit: Does the thought of a campfire-roasted chicken get your mouth watering? If so, you might want to look into purchasing a rotisserie grill and spit. A rotisserie grill-and-spit combo sits over the fire like a grill grate so you can cook items like corn on the cob or potatoes on the grill. The spit is above the grill, so you can cook a rotisserie chicken at the same time.
  • Dutch oven stand: A Dutch oven stand gets your cookware off the ground, but keeps it close enough to the heat source for cooking.
  • Cast-iron cooking tripod: Want to feel like you are in the Old West? You might bring a Dutch oven tripod on your next camping trip. Instead of placing your Dutch oven on a stand or grill, a tripod allows you to hang the oven over the fire, keeping it off the ground and making you feel like a true member of the Wild West.

2. Pots and Pans

Next, you will need your pots and pans. Plan your meals ahead of time, so you do not pack too much or too little and can figure out exactly what you need.

  • Cast iron grill and griddle: A cast iron grill and griddle is perfect for whipping up pancakes and eggs in the morning, or grilling up some steaks for a hearty meal later on. Want something sweet? Grill pineapple slices until they caramelize.
  • Cast-iron Dutch oven: A Dutch oven comes in handy for all kinds of recipes. You can cook satisfying stews, belly-warming soups, classic baked beans, boil water for pasta and even bake bread over your campfire with a Dutch oven. Serve your Dutch oven masterpiece with cornbread and everyone will be happy.
  • Skillet: Choose a cast-iron or aluminum skillet to cook up a variety of scrumptious meals. Fry up the catch of the day or make a skillet dessert like blueberry cobbler. Just consider the depth and size of skillet you will need to match your recipe and feed your group.

3. Utensils

Once you have your basic cookware, you will need campfire utensils to keep your food on the path to success and your hands safe. Here are recommended utensils for flipping, turning, stirring and serving your campfire delicacies:

  • Three-in-one folding grill tool: The last thing campers want is to haul more gear than they need. A three-in-one folding grill tool takes up little space, but provides the utensils you need — such as a grilling spatula, grilling fork and knife — all in one simple folding piece.
  • Steel tongs: Every campground chef needs a sturdy pair of stainless steel tongs to get a good grip when it is time to turn or remove grill items and to protect their hands from getting burned. Tongs come in different lengths, so whether you choose nine-inch or 16-inch tongs depends on your setup and what feels comfortable for you.
  • Grill utensil set: You may want to invest in a compact, easy-to-transport grill set so you can have all the tools you need in one neat case, and be ready to grill up whatever you want whenever you want. Choose a grill set that comes with the essentials, such as a spatula, tongs, basting brush and skewers. You could buy each utensil separately, but why go through the trouble when you can have it all in one tidy package?
  • Long-handled spoon: You will need a long spoon to stir your soups, stews or oatmeal, and there are plenty of safe options to use. You can use a wooden, stainless steel or aluminum spoon to stir your meals.

4. Accessories

Lastly, you will want to bring a few campfire cooking accessories.

  • Steel log grabber: You do not want to turn logs or adjust coals with your hands or feet. Instead, make sure to bring a heavy-duty steel log grabber or fireplace poker to keep you safe from the heat.
  • Grill gloves: Cooking over an open fire can be tough on the hands, no matter what equipment you have. That is why you want to use a pair of heat-resistant grill gloves so you can happily cook away while protecting your skin from the flames. Wear gloves that are flexible and allow you to get a good grip on utensils and cookware.
  • Stainless steel wire grill brush: Keep your grill clean and ready to go with a wire grill brush. Use the brush to remove food and grease.
  • Digital meat thermometer: Take guessing out of the process and use a digital thermometer to determine if you have properly cooked your meat. A safe cooking temperature for poultry is 165 degrees, while it is 145 degrees for other whole cuts of meat and 160 degrees for ground meat.
    Dutch oven lid lifter: A cast-iron Dutch oven lid lifter lets you easily remove the lid and the Dutch oven.
  • Lid stand: You will need a place to put the lid to your Dutch oven other than the ground while you stir food. A Dutch oven lid stand is an easy solution.

  • Pie iron: A pie iron is a cast-iron pan with a long handle. You can easily make sandwiches, eggs, mini pies and pizzas by holding the pie iron over the flame. These pies are also sometimes referred to as pudgie pies, mountain pies or hobo pies.
  • Grill basket: What could be more fun and simple than tossing food inside of a metal basket and cooking it over a fire until it is tender and tasty? Fill a grill basket with fresh fish brushed with olive oil and dusted with chili powder, cumin, salt and fresh lime juice, and get ready to make unforgettable campfire grilled fish tacos!
  • Steel skewers: A quality set of steel skewers is a must-have for campfire snacks on a whim. Want a twist on the classic s’more? Instead of using the traditional chocolate bar, enjoy a peanut butter cup or peppermint patty s’more instead.

As you can see, campfire food is not just about roasting hot dogs on a stick, although that is undoubtedly part of the fun. Do not be afraid to get creative, try new ideas and enjoy delicious flame-cooked meals you and your camping companions will love.

How to Cook Raccoon: A Recipe for Brined Bandit and Sweet Potato Hash

It is understandable that most people recoil, contort their faces, and offer loathsome and resistive expletives at the mere suggestion of wild dishes where the hero ingredient is small rural game like muskrat, porcupine, opossum, squirrel, or raccoon. But when you think about it, these are common historical proteins that were often on the menu before the development of modern refrigeration and the jaw-dropping abundance of commercially grown foods—particularly if one lived in remote and rural areas away from the conveniences that a city afforded.

As recently as my 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking, (originally published in 1931 during the Great Depression by German immigrant, Irma von Starkloff Rombauer), a section was still dedicated to the preparation of wild game that included not only critters mentioned above, but beaver tail, wild boar head, woodchuck, and armadillo, too.

Varmint recipe joy of cooking

Though we often think of them as urban dwelling, garbage pillaging, disease-spreading road kill, my experience has been with those dwelling in woodland and rural habitats where they feed on a natural diet, and the risk of disease is negligible. So when my brother called last fall to let me know he had trapped a 30-pound Upper Mississippi Valley boar raccoon that had been terrorizing his Sil-go-Link chickens near our childhood family farm, the adventurous epicurean in me seized the opportunity to experiment with a common wild protein from our American heritage, and gross-out the family in the process.


Why? Well, maybe the same reason people say they climb a mountain “…because it’s there.” It represents a personal challenge. The result? Moist and tender, fall-off-the-bone, “turkey thigh-like” tasting meat. While I did not pull the meat off the bones and toss with a barbeque sauce, or use in a strata or hotdish, those are other options for it.

Would I do it again? Probably not, given my 21st-century lifestyle. Cooking raccoon was a very time-intensive process that involved skinning, chilling to firm up the fat, then re-cleaning to remove as much fat as possible, then making the brine, brining for 24 hours, searing, braising…well, you get the idea.

Lastly, many associate raccoons with rabies. And yes, they can carry that disease. However, rabid raccoons will display unusual and aggressive behavior, will not feed, and tend to naturally die off in cold weather, when most raccoons are trapped or taken. If you intend to cook one, make sure you know its origin. If cooking or eating one makes you uncomfortable for safety reasons—not just because it’s a raccoon)—by all means, don’t eat it.

Raccoon ingredients

Ingredients you’ll need:

Raccoon Stew
1 brined raccoon, cut into pieces (brine recipe here)
1 cup carrots
1 large onion, diced
1 tart apple, diced
1 ½ cups mushrooms
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bottle stout beer
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1-2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
10 sprigs thyme
small bunch parsley

Sweet Potato, Apple, and Bacon Hash
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
6 strip streaky bacon, diced into lardoons
1 granny smith apple diced
1 honey crisp apple, diced
1 large onion, diced
8 sprigs thyme
½ cup pepitos
5 scallions sliced thin
olive oil
1-2 tbsp whiskey

Quartered raccoon

Quartered raccoon after skinning and chilling. This boar had begun bulking up for winter, so there’s more fat to remove before brining.


Remove the quarters from the brine and break down into workable parts. I have left the meat bone-in.


Quickly brown all sides in some olive oil. You do not want to cook through. That will be accomplished in the braising. I like browning on a cast iron skillet heated to smoking on a hot grill.


After searing the raccoon will have nice brown bits that will add richness to the stew.


Sauté the vegetables in a Dutch oven, pour in the imperial stout, and toss in the fresh herbs.

Browned raccoon meat

Add in the browned raccoon and vegetable or chicken stock.


Cover and simmer until the raccoon is falling off the bone. 1½ -2 hours


While the raccoon is braising to it’s tender and moist perfection, go ahead and prepare the ingredients for the sweet potato hash.


When you are about 30 minutes from serving the braised raccoon, toss the diced sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, some sprigs of thyme and pop in a 400-degree oven. Roast until tender, but not mushy. Remove and set aside.


Sauté the bacon lardoons rendering some of the fat before adding diced onion and apple. Cook until tender. Toss on the sliced green onion, and hit with a drizzle of whiskey if you are so inclined. Add in the reserved roasted sweet potatoes and sprinkle with pepitos.


Here are a few things you'll need for harvesting:

This one is really important. It's way too easy to run up to the ramp patch after work with good intentions of sustainbly digging ramps. You get to the trailhead at 5:30pm and it's 6pm by the time you're digging ramps. The sun's about to slip behind the mountains and you're in a sudden hurry to get your ramps and get out of there. So you abandon your plan and jerk as many roots out of the ground as you can before running out. DON'T DO IT!

Sustainably harvesting takes more time, so you really need to make allowance for it. Plus it's a lot more fun to have a leisurely walk into the woods, not worrying about racing the waning light. If you can't give yourself the time to do it, please consider taking only greens and leaving the bulbs undisturbed. You won't need nearly as much time if you only harvest leaves!

Sharp hunting knife
Make sure it's sharp! A dull knife will do more harm than good -- you'll end up mutilating the bulb so it's not useable as food and not viable as a plant. You may even want to touch up the blade as you dig, since the grit of the dirt will take your edge. You'll also want to make sure the blade is at least three or four inches so you can easily reach the root without disturbing the soil.

If you insist on digging the root, use a hori hori knife to minimize impact.

Backpack or shoulder bag
I usually put a few plastic grocery bags in a backpack and then load a bag or two with ramps before putting them in my pack, which helps keeps the dirt out of the pack.

The most sustainable way to harvest ramps is to cut only one leaf, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing. This is least impactful on the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole.

The leaves, in my opinion are the best part, anyway, and taking only leaves is the best way to ensure the colony will remain viable.

Sustainably harvested ramp.

If you insist on taking bulbs, please dig sustainably with a knife: Simply insert your knife into the dirt at an angle and slice off a third or so of the root, leaving it in the ground to re-grow. Then pull the rest of the plant out by its stems.

It will take a little practice to get a feel for where to put the knife. You can also gently pull back the dirt from around the bulb so you can see where you're cutting. If you do this, make sure to pull back just enough dirt to expose a little bit of the bulb and re-cover the roots after cutting.

That's all there is to digging. Please be judicious and don't take any more than you will use.

I find that when I overzealously harvest, it makes more work for me in the long run, because some ramps will inevitably go bad before I can get to them. There's not much more disgusting than the smell of past-their-prime ramps. And a few ramps go a long way so there's no need to stockpile them.

Even though we practice sustainable harvest, I'm afraid the ever-inceasing demand will eclipse the slow procreation.

So we've been looking into the possibility of cultivating our own ramps. I've always heard they'll survive almost anywhere in our Southern Appalachian region but will only propagate above 3000 feet here. We've successfully transplanted ramps that come back each year but our little patch hasn't spread (it's below 3000 ft.).

According to North Carolina Extension Horticultural Specialist Jeanine M. Davis, ramps can be transplanted and cultivated from seed at much lower elevations. Apparently, it takes some effort to germinate seeds when climes are warmer than ideal, but it can be done.

And once a good patch is established, it supposedly requires little maintenance. Jeanine recommends the book Having Your Ramps and Eating Them Too by the "Johnny Appleseed of Ramps" for more info on cultivating ramps.

Cooking in the Wild West: Tips From a Montana Ranch Chef - Recipes

Brined per Steven rinella’s recipe for at least 12hrs and cooked in a pellet grill at 250deg until 165 deg internal temp. Fairly simple rub of choice and I’d spray canola oil on the skin periodically to make a nice crisp skin. For a whole bird cook that is.

Breast only I’d cut it in strips and dip it in egg/milk then flour with seasoned salt and black pepper, back in egg/milk then back in flour mixture then fried.

There a bunch of ways to make ALL the parts of even an old gobbler very chewable and tasty. I get very weary of hearing how only the breasts are edible.

One of the basic methods many hunters never try is to age the field-dressed bird for at least a week in a refrigerator. They're usually better plucked, rather than skinned, and pluck easiest right after being killed, or after at least a week of fridge-aging.

You might try the field-care, meat-prep and recipes in Eileen Clarke's cookbook UPLAND BIRD COOKERY,

Look up Crockpot Crack Chicken recipes and substitute with turkey breasts. Its fantastic. Here's an example.

This thread is making me hungry. and its after 11 pm here.

I've got three birds in the freezer and its a good thing they take time to thaw.

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Albert Wutsch

Albert Wutsch, the author of The Art of Cooking Venison, The Art of Barbecuing and Grilling Game, The Art of Cooking Game,and the producer of The Art of Backyard Butchering is retired as department chairperson of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts. Chef Wutsch is a certified executive chef and culinary educator who combines his mastery of cooking with his passion for the great outdoors.

An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Chef Wutsch has cooked for professional outfitters in Montana’s Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Spotted Bear Wilderness, the largest untamed areas in America. He has cooked in many hunting camps throughout the country and has taught courses on game cookery across the nation. He has been a featured guest speaker for many sports shows and national conventions such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Annual Pheasant Fest, as well as the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show, the largest sports show in the world.

Chef Wutsch’s professional career has spanned over 45 years of culinary experience. He has received numerous culinary teaching awards and has been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles. He has conducted game cooking demonstrations on TV, has written columns for national magazines such as Pennsylvania Game News, Women in the Outdoors, Buckmasters, and North American Hunter. Chef Wutsch has hosted and judged game culinary competitions and has been retained by publishers to review culinary manuscripts. He has owned and operated a catering business and has specialized in catering throughout the country.

He is now a regular contributor to and co-host many of Outdoor Solutions From Field To Table events across North America.

Greg Ray

Like most that enjoy hunting and fishing, I grew up in the outdoors, on a 2000 acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma, where I chased squirrels and rabbits with my mighty hunting Dachshund (Tinker Bell, don’t let the name fool you, she was a killer!) I also had access to 19 ponds on our ranch and was spoiled with some of the best fishing in Oklahoma!

I didn’t start my outdoor career until late 2003 when I purchased a franchise from a company that booked hunting and fishing destinations to preapproved outfitters. This was supposed to be a side gig to help support my outdoor habit but God, Fate, whatever you want to call it had other plans for me.

In October of 2005 a Jeep going 70 mph, crashed through my house and ran over me while I was standing in my kitchen! (yep you read that right). I now work in an industry I love because of it. Due to my injuries, numerous surgeries and extended time off from work, I lost my job as a National Sales Manager for a Fortune 500 Company out of Chicago, it was a blessing disguised as a fast-moving Jeep.

My wife, Deborah and I decided to jump in with both feet and run our franchise full time. We built an incredible business and stayed with the Franchise model until 2012 when we partnered with the NRA, creating their NRA Outdoors program. We were blessed to run the program until February of 2018 where we once again branched out on our own to create Outdoor Solutions.

I never dreamed that my “side gig” would grow to the company it is today, partnering with some of the industries most well-known manufacturers.

I am truly blessed to work side by side with my wife of 20 plus years and more recently our son, Eddie, has started working full time for Outdoor Solutions.

Lance Lewis

Growing up in Southeast Louisiana I developed a love of two things, the outdoors and cooking. I was fortunate enough to have a father who took me to his hunting camp in the fall and we were in a boat the rest of the year. My background is rooted in a long-found belief of ethical hunting practices and honoring the game that was taken from the land or the water.

While serving in the US Navy, I traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. During these travels I found a new appreciation and understanding of those regional flavors that have the same Cajun nuances that are home to me. In 1999, once leaving the Navy I moved to Denver and that is where my personal culinary journey began. For years while working in the industrial electronics field I would hone my cooking skills on the side. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t try to cook, smoke or grill. In 2016, I finally took the leap to change my career, follow my passion and pursue culinary arts full-time. I attended Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in Denver and was hired as a recreational chef instructor shortly after graduation. I discovered something that I love to do just as much as I love cooking and that is teaching. My goal is to have my students learn something new they can take home and will be forever part of their culinary journey.

In 2019, I attended one of the Long-Range Shooting Courses taught by Outdoor Solutions. In meeting Greg Ray, I had the opportunity to discuss the culinary world and the natural tie to hunting and sustainability – which are a big part of my life. I could quickly see that I had met someone who possessed the same passion as I did on those topics. Later that year I attended my first From Field to Table culinary event by Outdoor Solutions and was not only blown away by the attention to detail that Greg and his staff had from the hunt to the cooking classes, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.

I am humbled and honored to have been asked to contribute to OS From field to table and look forward to sharing my professional knowledge through recipes and demonstrations.

Black Desert Cooking Life Skill Guide

Cooking is an essential Life skill in Black Desert Online that not only enhance other Life Skills but also greatly improve your PvE/PvP experience with a whole array of foods to enhance your combat abilities.

Cooking is relatively easy to pick up and many of its ingredients can be used interchangeably so there is usually no need to chase down a specific material that might be hard to obtain.

Complementary Life Skills

Cooking associates tightly with Farming and Fishing. While you might be able to get by with purchasing ingredients off the Marketplace, it is much more reliable to get them yourself, especially if you are thinking of mass production.

Fishing is mostly self-explanatory but for Farming you can consult the guide here.

Cooking Setup

To get started on cooking all you need a Cooking Utensil purchased from a Chef (use the NPC window and select the cooking button to locate the closest chef). The basic one you can purchase from the vendors will do for now but as you level up in cooking you may want to look into better cooking utensils you can make from Tool Workshops in cities. The better ones will have higher durability, allowing you to craft more in an AFK cooking session and have faster crafting speeds.

Ingredient Interchangeability & Quality

The great thing about cooking is that in most cases you can interchange ingredients as long they are of the similar type. This means that if a recipe calls for grain you can put in potato or corn and it will just work the same. If it calls for fruits apple or grapes or any other fruits will work identically. You can interchange ingredients in the same recipe as well. If a recipe calls for 4 apples for example, you can put in 2 apples and 2 grapes instead.

Additionally, something to note is that ingredients have three tiers of quality. There is the normal quality which is what most recipes are based on. However, there are also High Quality and Special/Top Quality ingredients that are surrounded by a green and blue border respectively. What this means is that you can use less of the higher quality ingredients in a recipe. The general rules are

  • 1 High Quality ingredient (green) = 3 normal quality
  • 1 Special Quality ingredient (blue) = 5 normal quality

So if a recipe calls for 5 potatoes for example, you can either put in 5 normal quality potatoes or 2 High Quality potatoes or 1 Special potato.

Continuous Production

The last basic feature to mentionis the Continuous Production button on your cooking utensil. All you need to do is put ingredients enough to make 1 batch of the food and then click on Continuous Production. This will allow the cooking utensil to continuously produce the food until it run out of ingredients. However, certain other things can also stop production such as running out of durability on the cooking utensil or running out of energy.

Leveling Cooking

Beginner to Apprentice

From Beginner to Apprentice you should be focused on making Beers for your workers. The recipe is as follows

  • 5x Grain (Barley, Corn, Potato, Sweet Potato, Wheat)
  • 6x Mineral Water (purchased from cooking vendor)
  • 2x Leavening Agent (purchased from cooking vendor)
  • 1x Sugar (purchased from cooking vendor)

Apprentice to Skilled

Starting at Apprentice 1, you start doing some of the cooking dailies in Velia and Olvia to raise your cooking skills (see below). Some of them won’t fully unlock until you reach Skilled.

Making Beer is still a decent way to raise your cooking levels but you might want to start thinking about making Tea with Fine Scent for the Milk Tea/Sute Tea that you will be able to make once you hit Skilled in cooking. I went over the details of Tea with Fine Scent over at this guide but I will also list the recipe below for reference.

  • 4x Flower (Sunflower/Tulip/Rose)
  • 4x Fruits (Apple/Strawberry/Grape/Cherry/Pear/Banana/Pineapple)
  • 7x Mineral Water (purchased from cooking vendor)
  • 3x Cooking Honey

Skilled to Professional

Starting at Skilled 1, you can make Milk Tea/Sute Tea so hopefully you have stockpiled a bunch from the Apprentice levels for use. Once again, the details for making these two teas are covered here but for reference the recipes are as follows.

  • 2x Tea with Fine Scent
  • 2x Grain Flour (Barley, Corn, Potato, Sweet Potato, Wheat)
  • 3x Milk
  • 3x Cooking Honey
  • 2x Tea with Fine Scent
  • 2x Butter (shake milk & sugar at 1:1 ratio)
  • 3x Milk
  • 1x Salt (purchased from cooking vendor).


Doing the cooking dailies mentioned below will give you a nice chunk of cooking XP per day but otherwise it is a slow road from here on out. Make whatever you feel like/need.

Cooking Dailies

Olvia Dailies

Olvia dailies unlock as you get to Beginner 10 in cooking and they are much easier to do than the Velia ones. However you do need to unlock the final one with 200 Amity with Nadia Rowen.

Everyone Loves Cheese

Rewards: 40 Contribution XP, Recover 3 Energy, Cooking XP. Choice of 3x Milk or Egg

A Glass of Beer

Rewards: 70 Contribution XP, Recover 5 Energy, Cooking XP, Cool Draft Beer. Choice of 5x Onion, Garlic, Hot Pepper, or Pepper.

Rewards: 70 Contribution XP, Recover 5 Energy, Cooking XP. Choice of 10x Onion, Garlic, Hot Pepper, or Pepper.

A Poultry Dish (unlock with 200 Amity)

Rewards: 120 Contribution XP, Recover 5 Energy, Cooking XP. Choice of 10x Strawberry or Grape.

Velia Dailies

Velia Cooking dailies start to get unlocked once you get cooking Apprentice 1 but two of the later ones require Skilled 1 and Skilled 6 to complete. The dailies are from Shelley in the bottom floor of the building to the left of Igor Bartali. You must complete the quest Do You Remember How to Cook? from Shelley first to unlock them.

Memory in Your Hands #1

  • 2x Fish or 4x Dried Fish
  • 3x Onions
  • 2x Cheese (Drying Milk)
  • 2x Dressing (1x Olive Oil, 1x Mineral Water, 1x Egg, 2x Salt)

Rewards: 70 Contrib XP, Choice of 5x Milk, Pork, Egg, Potato.

Memory in Your Hands #2

  • 5x Fruits (Apple/Strawberry/Grape/Cherry/Pear/Banana/Pineapple)
  • 1x Exotic Herbal Wine (3x Dough, 1x Essence of Liquor, 5x Mineral Water, 2x Leavening Agent)
  • 2x Mineral Water
  • 3x Essence of Liquor (1x Flour, 1x Fruit, 1x Leavening Agent)

Rewards: 70 Contrib XP, Choice of 5x Milk, Pork, Egg, Potato.

Memory In Your Hands #3 – Skilled 1

  • 2x Grilled Sausage (6x Meat, 1x Onion, 2x Pepper, 2x Salt)
  • 2x Soft Bread (6x Dough, 2x Leavening Agent, 2x Egg, 3x Milk)
  • 5x Vegetable (Cabbage, Paprika, Pumpkin, Tomato, Olive)
  • 4x Egg

Rewards: 70 Contrib XP, Choice of 10x Milk, Pork, Egg, Potato.

Memory in Your Hands #4 – Skilled 6

  • 1x Ham Sandwitch
  • 1x Meat Pie (4x Meat, 6x Dough, 2x Sugar, 2x Olive Oil)
  • 1x Beehive Cookie (4x Dough, 6x Cooking Honey, 2x Egg, 4x Milk)
  • 2x Boiled Bird Eggs (3x Egg, 6x Mineral Water, 1x Cooking Wine, 1x Salt)
  • 2x Fruit Wine

Rewards: 70 Contrib XP, Choice of 10x Milk, Pork, Egg, Potato.

Cooking Ingredients

Cooking Ingredients can be classified into several families that can be interchanged in a recipe.

Seed Vendor

You can purchase most seeds from the Marketplace but incase there are seeds unavailable you can purchase some from the seed vendor in Calpheon, Ahr. She has the most complete seed collection out of any seed vendor. These seeds need to be planted in your garden/farm.

  • Carrot Seed
  • Garlic Seed
  • Grape Seed
  • Hot Pepper Seed
  • Olive Seed
  • Onion Seed
  • Pepper Seed
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Strawberry Seed
  • Sunflower Seed
  • Wheat Seed

Aloe previously was a pain to gather pre-Mediah but with Mediah has become widely available. Infact there is an Aloe node right now Ahto Farm in Mediah where you can send your workers to gather it.

Cooking Honey

Cooking Honey can be obtained exclusively from the Alejandro Farm node near Heidel.


Eggs are a byproduct of Chicken Meat nodes. There are two nodes in Bartali and Finto farm not far from Velia. You can also get them as rewards from Velia cooking dailies and some Olvia cooking dailies.

Milk is obtained by milking cows. You can find cows west of Olvia, Falres Dirt Farm east of Calpheon and in Bain Farmland south of Calpheon. There are dailies by each of the farm for milking cows that will reward you with 10 milk each as well. Additionally, you can get milk by turning in one of the cooking byproducts.


Out of the grain family, Potato can be gathered by workers at the Bartali Farm, Loggia Farm or the Finto Farm nodes all close to Velia.

Wheat can be found in Northern Wheat Plantation (east of Calpheon), Costa Farm, and Moretti Plantation south of Heidel.

Barley can be found in Northern Wheat Plantation while Corn can be found in Toscani Farm a bit further from Velia.

Sweet Potato can be found in Shuri Farm in Mediah.

Farming wise, all have seeds taking up 1 garden slot except for Corn which take up 2 slots.

Fish vs Seafood

Fish and Seafood are not interchangeable in a recipe. If a recipe calls for fish, you cannot substitute seafood and vice versa.

Seafoods includes the following

If you are looking to fish up seafood while AFK fishing, you need to uncheck the throwaway useless items button or all the seafood will be thrown out.

You can dry fish/seafood via Drying under the processing (L) menu. Dried fish/seafood won’t expire but it will take twice as much in the recipe. So if a recipe calls for 1x fish, you will need to put 2x dried fish.


For flowers the easiest to acquire are Sunflowers as you can mass produce them on a farm. Rose and Tulips can also be gathered manually from Northern Wheat Plantation.


  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry

Out of the Fruit family, the easiest to obtain are Grapes and Strawberry. Apples can be only picked off Apple Trees in the wild and the rest are solely from a special vendor in Capheon (Milano Belucci).

Grapes can be gathered from the Casta Farm node just east of Olvia. Farm wise grapes take up 2 garden slots so it is not the best for farming. Strawberry would be a better choice since it only takes up 1 slot.

Meat/Bird Meat/Reptile Meat

For cooking, meat are divided into three categories: regular meat, bird meat, reptile meat. They can’t be interchanged with each other so you cannot use bird meat when a recipe asks for regular meat.

Regular Meat

Lamb, Pork, Fox and Wolf Meat are usually the easiest to acquire. Lamb can be acquired from the sheep in Lynch Ranch while pork can be acquired from the boars around Northern Wheat Plantation.Fox and Wolf meat can be obtained from the area east of Olvia. Pork is also one of the reward choices from the cooking dailies in Velia.

The easiest to acquire is Chicken Meat. There are nodes for it at both Bartali and Finto Farm near Velia. Your workers at the Chicken Meat node will also produce Eggs, which is in high demand.

Reptile Meat

Lizards can be found in the swamps around Glish. Waragon can be found underground near Northern Wheat Plantation. Cheetah Dragons are found in Mediah.


Spices here includes Garlic, Onion, Pepper, Hot Pepper, and Cinnamon. With the exception of Cinnamon, which is a Mediah addition, the other spices cannot be obtained from nodes and must be acquired from farming/gardening. Olvia cooking dailies do reward them as well but you are limited to 15/day.

Cinnamon can be acquired from the Kasula Farm node right next to Tarif.


Olive, Paprika, and Pumpkin can be acquired from nodes. Olive can be acquired from Wale Farm node just north of Olvia while Paprika can be acquired from Northern Wheat Plantation. Pumpkins are acquired from Alejandro Farm and Costa Farm west of Heidel.

Olive/Paprika/Pumpkin/Tomato can all be grown on a farm as well. All except for Pumpkin takes up 2 garden spaces.

Simple Cooking

Much like Simple Alchemy, Simple Cooking allow you to make Grain Juices that act as HP potions. The top tier grain juices you can make is even better than the best HP potion you can make and they weigh a lot less.

You do not need to use a cooking utensil to use Simple Cooking. It can be done with the Production Activity window (L). All it needs is 3 Grain and 1 Mineral Water for every Grain Juice you want to make. Since you cannot split stacks in Simple Cooking, you just move your character when you want to stop or it will go on until you are over the weight limit. It no longer cost energy to do Simple Cooking so energy issues are no longer a concern.

To make better grain juices, you can either place 3 of the lower tier grain juice into simple cooking to make 1 higher tier or use the mass production method where you can 30 of the lower tier grain juice and 1 sugar to make 10 of the higher tier.

Icon Name Effect
Grain Juice Heals HP +75
Concentrated Grain Juice Heals HP+125
Highly Concentrated Grain Juice Heals HP+200
Refined Grain Juice Heals HP+275


Intermediate Ingredients

Icon Name Skill Ingredients
Butter   Shake Salt with Cream
Cheese   Drying Milk
Cream   Shake Milk with Sugar
Dough   Shake Flour with Mineral Water
Dressing Beginner 1 1x Olive Oil
1x Mineral Water
1x Egg
2x Salt
Essence of Liquor Beginner 1 1x Flour
1x Fruits
1x Leavening Agent
Flour   Grinding any type of grain
Red Sauce Beginner 1 1x Base Sauce
2x Sugar
1x Meat
2x Mineral Water
Vinegar Beginner 1 1x Grain
1x Fruits
1x Leavening Agent
1x Sugar
White Sauce Beginner 1 1x Base Sauce
1x Milk
1x Fruits
2x Cooking Wine

Cooking Byproducts

Much like alchemy, cooking produces byproducts you can turn in for milk, beer, coins, cooking XP or contribution points. There are 5 different kinds of byproducts that you can hand in to NPCs around Heidel.

Dish with More Ingredients Exchange 2 for 1 Beer
Dish with Weird Texture Exchange 5 for 3000 Coins
Taken Out Food Exchange 5 for Cooking XP
Strongly Seasoned Dish Exchange 3 for 1 Milk
Dish with Poorly Prepared Ingredients Exchange 5 for Contribution XP

Experience Gain

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Steamed Bird Apprentice 1 5x Bird Meat
3x Vegetables
2x Vinegar
2x Essence of Liquor
2x Salt
Combat XP Increase +3% for 60 min
Meat Croquette Apprentice 1 8x Meat
5x Flour
2x Egg
2x Cheese
4x Deep Frying Oil
Combat XP Increase +5% for 90 min
Milk Tea Skilled 1 2x Tea with Fine Scent
2x Flour
3x Milk
3x Cooking Honey
Combat XP Increase +8% for 90 min
Assorted Side Dishes Apprentice 6 1x Fried Bird
1x Seafood
3x Cheese
5x Fruits
Life EXP +5% for 90 min
Sute Tea Skilled 1 2x Tea with Fine Scent
2x Butter
3x Milk
1x Salt
Life EXP +8% for 90 min
Whale Meat Salad Skilled 1 1x Blue Whale Meat
6x Vegetables
2x Dressing
3x Egg
4x Pepper
Life EXP +10/15% for 75/90 min.

Combat Abilities

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Aloe Cookie Beginner 6 5x Aloe
7x Dough
3x Cooking Honey
4x Sugar
All accuracy +4 for 30 min
Steamed Fish Beginner 6 1x Fish (2x Dried Fish)
2x Garlic
2x Salt
3x Mineral Water
All accuracy +4 for 30 min
Steamed Seafood Apprentice 1 2x Seafood (4x Dried Seafood)
3x Hot Pepper
6x Mineral Water
2x Salt
All accuracy +6 for 60 min

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Boiled Bird Eggs Beginner 6 3x Egg
6x Mineral Water
1x Cooking Wine
1x Salt
All AP +1 for 30 min
Grilled Sausage Beginner 6 6x Meat
1x Onion
2x Pepper
2x Salt
All AP +1 for 30 min
Stir-Fried Meat Apprentice 1 7x Meat
2x Base Sauce
2x Onion
3x Hot Pepper
All AP +2 for 60 min
Dark Pudding Skilled 1 1x Oatmeal
1x Pickled Vegetables
5x Bird Meat
7x Deer/Sheep/Goat/Cow/Pig Blood
All AP +3
Damage against humans +2 for 90 mins
Ham Sandwich Skilled 1 2x Soft Bread
2x Grilled Sausage
5x Vegetables
4x Egg
All AP +3
Accuracy +8 for 90 min

Attack Speed

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Seafood Grilled with Butter Beginner 6 1x Seafood
3x Butter
2x Salt
1x Olive Oil
Attack Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Smoked Fish Steak Apprentice 1 2x Fish (4x Dried Fish)
1x Olive Oil
2x Salt
Attack Speed Rank +1 for 60 min

Casting Speed

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Stir-Fried Seafood Beginner 6 1x Seafood (2x Dried Seafood)
4x Vegetables
2x White Sauce
2x Hot Pepper
Casting Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Seafood Pasta Apprentice 1 2x Seafood (4x Dried Seafood)
5x Dough
3x Cooking Wine
3x Garlic
Casting Speed Rank +1 for 60 min

Critical Damage/Stun Resist

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
King of Jungle Hamburg Professional 1 4x Teff Bread
3x Pickled Vegetables
4x Lion Meat
3x Nutmeg
Stun Resistance +3%, Critial Damage +20% for 110 minutes

Critical Hit

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Meat Soup Beginner 6 5x Meat
1x Pepper
2x Cream
4x Mineral Water
Critical Hit Rate +1 for 30 min
Fish Soup Apprentice 1 1x Fish
3x Flour
2x Cream
6x Mineral Water
Critical Hit Rate +1 for 60 min

Damage Reduction/Evasion

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Honey Wine Apprentice 1 3x Cooking Honey
2x Essence of Liquor
2x Sugar
6x Mineral Water
All damage reduction +2 for 60 min
Omelet Apprentice 1 5x Grains
2x Olive Oil
5x Egg
2x Salt
All damage reduction +2 for 60 min
Lean Meat Salad Apprentice 6 8x Meat
2x Vinegar
3x Pepper
4x Dressing
All damage reduction +3
HP recovery +5 for 90 mins
Grilled Scorpion Skilled 1 3x Scorpion Meat
2x Butter
3x Nutmeg
3x Hot Pepper
Monster damage reduction +10 for 90 min
Date Palm Wine Apprentice 6 5x Dates
2x Essence of Liquor
1x Sugar
4x Leavening Agent
+4 Evasion
Steamed Whale Meat Skilled 1 1x Blue Whale Meat
1x Honey Wine
4x Garlic
2x Salt
6x Mineral Water
All damage reduction +2/3
+8 Evasion for 75/90 min.

HP Recovery/Max HP

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Fried Vegetables Beginner 6 4x Vegetables
4x Dough
2x Egg
6x Deep Frying Oil
HP recovery +2 for 30 min
Fried Bird Apprentice 1 7x Bird Meat
4x Flour
2x Egg
3x Pepper
HP recovery +5 for 60 min
Meat Stew Beginner 6 5x Meat
2x Flour
2x Cooking Wine
3x Mineral Water
Max HP +30 for 30 min
Steak Apprentice 1 8x Meat
2x Salt
2x Garlic
2x Red Sauce
Max HP +60 for 60 min
Cheese Gratin Apprentice 1 1x Grilled Sausage
5x Dough
4x Vegetables
3x Cheese
3x Red Sauce
Max HP +70
Attack Speed +1 for 90 mins

MP Recovery/Max MP

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Fruit Juice Beginner 6 4x Fruits
3x Sugar
5x Mineral Water
1x Salt
Max MP +30 for 30 min
Tea with Fine Scent Apprentice 1 4x Flowers
4x Fruits
7x Mineral Water
3x Cooking Honey
Max MP +50 for 60 min
Fruit Pie Apprentice 6 6x Dough
6x Fruits
3x Cream
4x Sugar
Max MP +70
Casting Speed Rank +1 for 90 mins
Fruit Pudding Beginner 6 5x Fruits
1x Cream
3x Milk
2x Sugar
MP recovery +2 for 30 min
Fruit and Vegetable Salad Apprentice 1 4x Fruits
4x Vegetables
2x Vinegar
4x Cooking Wine
MP Recovery +5 for 60 min

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Lizard Kebab Beginner 6 6x Reptile Meat
2x Red Sauce
3x Onion
7x Grains
Max Stamina +100 for 30 min
Soft Bread Beginner 6 6x Dough
2x Leavening Agent
2x Egg
3x Milk
Max Stamina +100 for 30 min
Desert Dumpling Apprentice 1 6x Reptile Meat
6x Dough
1x Cinnamon
2x Olive Oil
Max Stamina +200 for 60 min
Meat Pie Apprentice 1 4x Meat
6x Dough
2x Sugar
2x Olive Oil
Max Stamina +200 for 60 min

Life Skills

Fishing Speed Rank

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Exotic Herbal Wine Beginner 1 3x Dough
1x Essence of Liquor
5x Mineral Water
2x Leavening Agent
Fishing Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Aloe Yogurt Beginner 6 5x Aloe
2x Milk
3x Sugar
3x Leavening Agent
Fishing Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Fruit Wine Apprentice 1 1x Exotic Herbal Wine
5x Fruits
3x Essence of Liquor
2x Mineral Water
Fishing Speed Rank +1 for 60 min


Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Grain Soup Beginner 1 6x Grain
3x Mineral Water
3x Cooking Wine
1x Salt
Gathering Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Pickled Vegetables Apprentice 1 8x Vegetables
4x Vinegar
2x Leavening Agent
2x Sugar
Gathering Speed Rank +1 for 60 min
Fig Pie Apprentice 1 5x Fig
3x Dough
3x Sugar
2x Olive Oil
Chance of obtaining resources by gathering +3% for 60 min.
Pistachio Fried Rice Apprentice 6 4x Pistachio
6x Teff
2x Cinnamon
2x Salt
Processing success chance +3% for 90 min.
Couscous Skilled 6 1x Freekeh Snake Stew
6x Dough
3x Nutmeg
4x Vegetables
Processing success chance +5% for 110 min.

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
High-Quality Carrot Juice Beginner 1 1x High-Quality Carrot
3x Flour
3x Sugar
4x Mineral Water
Restore +200 Horse HP
Special Carrot Juice Beginner 6 1x Special Carrot
3x Flour
3x Sugar
4x Mineral Water
Restore +300 Horse HP

Movement Speed

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Fried Fish Apprentice 1 1x Fish (2x Dried Fish)
3x Flour
2x Deep Frying Oil
Movement Speed Rank +1 for 30 min
Fish Filet Salad Apprentice 1 2x Fish (4x Dried Fish)
2x Dressing
3x Onion
2x Cheese
Movement Speed Rank +1 for 60 min
Meat Sandwich Apprentice 6 1x Soft Bread
7x Meat
6x Vegetable
3x Cheese
Movement Speed Rank +1, Max Endurance +200 for 90 min

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Good Feed Apprentice 1 6x Meat
1x Fish (2 Dried Fish)
3x Mineral Water
4x Flour
+40 Satiety
Organic Feed Apprentice 6 2x Oatmeal
5x Meat
4x Bird Meat
2x Fish (4x Dried Fish)
+70 Satiety

Weight Limit

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Seafood Mushroom Salad Beginner 6 1x Seafood (2x Dried Seafood)
1x Mushroom
2x Dressing
Weight Limit +20LT for 30 min
Meat Pasta Apprentice 1 5x Meat
4x Dough
3x Pepper
2x Garlic
Weight Limit +40LT for 60 min
Beehive Cookie Apprentice 6 4x Dough
6x Cooking Honey
2x Egg
4x Milk
Weight Limit +50LT,
Fishing Speed Rank +1 for 90 min

Worker Stamina

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Beer Beginner 1 5x Grain
6x Mineral Water
1x Sugar
2x Leavening Agent
Restore +2 worker stamina
Fish Filet Chip Apprentice 1 2x Dried Fish
3x White Sauce
7x Flour
2x Salt
Restore +5 worker stamina
Freekeh Snake Stew Apprentice 1 6x Freekeh
5x Mineral Water
3x Snake Meat
2x Star Anise
Restore +5 worker stamina
Oatmeal Apprentice 1 9x Flour
3x Milk
3x Onion
2x Cooking Honey
Restore +5 worker stamina
Cheese Pie Apprentice 6 4x Dough
7x Cheese
3x Butter
3x Egg
Restore +7 worker stamina

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Stir-Fried Vegetables Beginner 6 5x Vegetables
2x Hot Pepper
2x Olive Oil
1x Salt
Jump Height increase for 30 min
Teff Bread Beginner 6 5x Teff Flour
3x Mineral Water
2x Salt
2x Leavening Agent
Cookng/Alchemy Time –3% for 30 min.
Teff Sandwich Professional 1 1x Teff Bread
1x Grilled Scorpion
1x Freekeh Snake Stew
3x Red Sauce
Cookng/Alchemy Time –5% for 110 min.
Pickled Fish Apprentice 1 1x Fish (2x Dried Fish)
2x Vinegar
4x Salt
2x Leavening Agent
Amity Gain +5% for 60 min
Borscht Apprentice 1 7x Fragrant Jerky
3x Milk
1x Cinnamon
2x Mineral Water
Max Energy +10 for 60 min
Hunter’s Salad Apprentice 1 1x Soft Whale Meat/Crocodile Meat
2x Vinegar
2x Dressing
5x Garlic
+1000 Hunting Damage for 5 mins


These specials require multiple food to make but grant you various buffs.

Icon Name Skill Ingredients Effect
Balenos Special Skilled 6 1x Cheese Gratin
1x Meat Croquette
1x Smoked Fish Steak
2x Stir-Fried Vegetables
2x Beer
Movement Speed Rank +2
Fishing Speed Rank +2
Gathering Speed Rank +2
for 90 mins
Calpheon Special Skilled 6 2x Soft Bread
1x Milk Tea
1x Fish Filet Salad
1x Cheese Pie
1x Meat Pasta
All Damage Reduction +5
Max HP +100
HP Recovery +5
for 90 min
Knight Combat Rations Skilled 6 1x Dark Pudding
1x Ham Sandwich
1x Meat Croquette
1x Fruit Wine
All Attack +5
Extra Damage Against Human +5
All Damage Reduction +5
for 120 min
Mediah Special Skilled 6 1x Dark Pudding
1x Oatmeal
2x Grilled Sausage
1x Lean Meat Salad
2x Exotic Herbal Wine
All AP+5
Attack Speed +1Casting Speed +1 for 90 min
Serendia Special Skilled 6 1x Ham Sandwich
1x Meat Pie
1x Beehive Cookie
2x Boiled Bird Eggs
2x Fruit Wine
All AP +5
All Accuracy +10
Critical Hit +1 for 90 min
Valencian Special Professional 6 1x Teff Sandwitch
1x King of Jungle Hamburg
1x Couscous
2x Fig Pie
2x Date Palms
Nullifying All Resistance +4%Resistance against all debuffs +4%
All Evasion +6
12% decrease of damage from monsters

Cooking Enhancements

There are several items that can enhance your cooking experience. Make sure you are using the Sute Tea you are making for that 8% more cooking XP. This will stack with the clothes and costumes for a total of 33% more cooking XP.


You can only wear one of the clothes. It goes into your armor slot.

  • Cook’s Clothes – Cooking XP +10%, requires Cooking Skilled 10 to wear. This is rewarded once you reach Professional in Cooking.
  • Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes – Movement Speed +1 and Cooking time decreases by 1s. Crafted in the Costume Mill (9x Cotton Fabric, 10x Powder of Earth, 15x Black Stone Powder)


The Canape costume from the Pearl Store will give you 15% Cooking XP and decrease your cooking time by 2s. This is a set effect so you have to wear all 3 pieces of the Canape costume to get the effect.

Alchemy Stones

If you happen to get the Alchemy Stone of Life, they will decrease your cooking time. The % decrease depends on the tier of alchemy stone with the top tier giving you a 25% decrease (more realistically you are looking at the most 11% as the top tier ones are extremely hard to obtain).

Common Herbs, Uncommonly Good Pairings

Joel Tennyson, wine director of The Inn at Dos Brisas, offers these tips for pairing wine with herbs found in the restaurant’s garden—and in your local market.

Sage: At The Inn, hummingbird sage is used in savory meat dishes like roasted leg of lamb. Sage tends to “play nicely with Syrah,” says Tennyson, who opts for wines from the Northern Rhône—particularly Saint-Joseph—or California’s Sierra Foothills that “show black plum and cherry notes, with full aromas of dried herbs and earth.”

Lemon verbena: This invigorating herb is a favorite with sea bass and other fish dishes, and adds a subtle lemon flavor to poultry and salads. To complement it, Tennyson recommends Pinot Grigio from Italy’s Alto Adige or Friuli Grave regions, “with its crisp acidity and grassy nose, [it’s also] rich and opulent on the palate.”

Garlic chives: With their faint aroma of garlic, this variety of chive “grows wild here on the ranch and plays a role with our roast chicken with chanterelles [dish],” says Tennyson. For ideal wine pairings, he looks to a premier cru Chablis, like Fourchaume, or a rich California Chardonnay, like the one from ZD Wines in Napa.

Thyme: One of the most common cooking herbs with many varieties, mother of thyme is used as a component in a compound butter to finish the grilled rib-eye steaks at The Inn. For pairing wine with thyme, Tennyson looks to Riojas that show “lots of dried fruit, a spicy black-pepper nose and soft tannins.”

Thai basil: Although there are more than 100 cultivars of basil, Thai basil tends to remain aromatic whether fresh or cooked. For a dish like Thai basil and melon salad, Tennyson favors Sauvignon Blanc, suggesting crisp and fresh wines from the Russian River Valley in California or Sancerre in France,“adding a hint of mineral to [the] finish.”

Curry leaf: Available in many Asian markets, curry leaves are perfect for meats. “We use this aromatic herb to flavor cabrito [goat] and lamb while roasting,” says Tennyson. “I pair these with wines from the Southern Rhône,” particularly Grenache, with its “ripe and rich berry flavors with hints of earth and sweet spices.”

Recipe: cabrito al pastor

Goats have always been a part of the rugged, arid terrain of the US-Mexico border, where the Chihuahuan Desert overlaps with the Tamaulipas mezquital (mesquite plain). Goats thrive in this harsh climate, and cabrito al pastor (roasted kid) is a popular local dish. There’s even an annual cabrito cook-off in the city of Marathon , near Big Bend National Park.

Cabrito traditionally refers to a milk-fed goat under 45 days old kids that are a little older and have eaten grass are tripones , often easier to find in the United States. When purchasing your processed cabrito (or tripón ), ask if the goat was bred for milk or meat (those bred for their meat are typically fattier). Finding a knowledgeable purveyor is important.

Like firing up a barbecue to cook steaks, cabrito is more of a technique than a recipe. It’s preferable to cook the meat over hot coals, but you can also do it in the oven. Here are both methods.

Pro tip: Invite enough people over to eat all the meat in one sitting. Leftover cabrito becomes stringy and tough.

Servings: 8–10, depending on the size of the goat


1 whole processed kid (goat)
1 tablespoon sea salt for each side of the cabrito
2 teaspoons ground black pepper for each side of the cabrito


The portioning:

There are specific cuts when portioning a cabrito, and everyone has their favorite. If you are cooking your cabrito in the oven, portion it before it is cooked. If you are cooking it over an open fire , portion it after. Consider this a chance to brush up on your Spanish:

  • Pechita : outside center breast of the cabrito, with rib tips
  • Paleta : inside center breast of the cabrito, with ribs and tenderloin (my favorite)
  • Riñonada : short loin with kidneys attached
  • Cadera : saddle and rump
  • Pierna : back leg portion (my second favorite)

In the oven:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Cut the cabrito into sections and arrange them in the pan, then cover with another sheet of aluminum foil. Cook for 1 ½ hours, then remove the top layer of foil. Cook the cabrito for 20 to 30 minutes more uncovered, so the skin can become crispy. Serve warm with salsa.

Over live coals:

Build a large fire with about 12 to 15 medium-size logs of wood, preferably mesquite. Allow the fire to burn for about 1 hour. Shovel small amounts of the coal that forms around the flat metal grill where your cabrito will roast. By moving around small amounts of coal, you can control the heat level of your grilling area, which should hover between 325 and 375 F.

Season the whole carcass on both sides with sea salt and ground black pepper. Lay the whole carcass, ribs side down, onto the heated grill. The carcass should be flipped every 15 minutes over the course of 2 ½ to 3 hours. Through many trials, we have found that the best tool for flipping a cabrito is small squares of cardboard used as oven mitts. Not pretty, but they work.

When done, the cabrito should have a crispy golden skin with succulent meat underneath. Serve with a side relish of chopped cilantro and onions, warm tortillas, roasted onions, lime wedges, and your favorite salsa.

This recipe, which has been edited and condensed, was provided courtesy of Melissa Guerra . She is the author of Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert: Norteño Cooking of South Texas, a 2007 James Beard Award finalist.


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