From Field to Plate’s rapidly increasing popularity among outdoorsmen is due to chef Doughty’s consistent culinary creativity with a wide variety of game meat harvested from land and sea.
“The Wild Chef” Jeremiah Doughty is the person responsible for those mouth-watering photos of beautifully presented meals as you scroll through your Instagram feed. Doughty’s recipes stand out thanks to his masterful blend of creative cuisine, perfect classics, comfort food, and most importantly, all featuring wild game meat from the field and the sea. Think wild boar barbacoa tacos, roasted whole stuffed doves, and venison stroganoff. All harvested for his family by the chef himself.
From Field to Plate’s Instagram account has over 6,000 followers and for good reason. Doughty makes a point to post high-quality food shots of finished plates as well as the process behind them. From hunting with friends and family, to butchering, cooking, and general outdoors-centric photos – Doughty’s posts are each well thought out and well photographed.
On a personal note, having been lucky enough to be raised in a house where wild game was the standard meal for my four siblings and I, I am really inspired and encouraged by Daughty’s commitment to stand up for hunters and create beautiful meals from his hunts’ harvests. It’s encouraging to see people come to love and appreciate game meat, and the process behind it, thanks to From Field to Plate.
A huge thanks to Jeremiah for taking the time to so thoughtfully participate in the Q&A. Be sure to follow his adventures online and try to cook something new with your next quarry!
CO: From Field to Plate’s mission:
JD: My mission is to get people excited to get dirty for their dinner. Show people that you can go from field to plate with your hands only and create mouthwatering dishes using simple ingredients. All the while doing it with respect.
CO: When did you start From Field to Plate?
JD: I started From Field To Plate in 2014 officially, but have been doing it since I was 10.
CO: What was your original inspiration for From Field to Plate?
JD: To go beyond the prepackaged, plastic-wrapped, day dotted grocery store meat. To feed my family with TRUE organic meat. I wanted to know what my family was eating, how it lived, where it lived and what it ate. I wanted to be the only hands that touched my meal. I had no idea it would take off the way it did.
CO: What is the process for creating a recipe? From an idea, to cooking, to a finished instagram-worthy plate?
JD: Idea: Most of the ideas come to me while I’m talking to people on why they HATE wild game. I ask them what their favorite dish is and try to recreate it for them. Let’s just say I’ve won many people over by creating their favorite dishes. The other dishes just pop into my head and I love to eat so I make them.
Cooking: This is my favorite part!!! I love pairing flavors, mixing and matching spices and seasonings. Tasting every aspect of the meal from start to finish. Once I write a recipe it will probably change 3-4 times till I have mastered the flavors. Most of the time when the meal is ready I’m so full from tasting I can barely eat the finished dish.
Finished plate: People ask me all the time what camera I use while taking my food pics. The answer is I use my iphone. I have all the fancy camera gear and expensive lenses but I found out that with proper lighting food pops. The dishes you see on my social media are the dishes that hit the table. I do not fake anything. But the biggest thing is creating great food!!!
CO: Do you have any help? Does your family get involved?
JD: My 5 year-old daughter loves being in the kitchen and in the field, she is my sous chef. She loves to be my tasting buddy, stirring partner, or meatball roller. Her passion is what keeps me going. How many kids get excited to be in the kitchen with their parents? Better yet how many of those kids know how to pluck a pheasant, de scale a fish, or skin a deer?
CO: What are your favorite outdoor hobbies/passions?
JD: I’m a fishing and hunting kid. Living in southern California I am 10 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, an hour from the mountains, and an hour from the desert. I grew up surfing, dirt biking, fishing and hunting. Those are all still my passions. Where else in the US can you go snowboarding in the morning then drive an hour and surf before dinner?
CO: What type of hunt do you most enjoy?
JD: Bird hunting! Plain and simple, I was raised a bird hunter. Nothing beats sitting in a blind calling in mallards or walking the fields and seeing your dog hit point just before he flushes a rooster. Sitting under an old oak listening to a big old Tom gobble before the sun rises is simply awe inspiring.
CO: Do you ever encounter anti-meat/anti-hunters?
JD: I get roughly around 100 negative emails, direct messages, or tags a day from negative anti people. I get told by everyone to ignore it and let it go but that is something I can’t do. So I respond to every single one. I respond with respect, compassion and an open heart. I come at them with an attitude of love and understanding. You’d be surprised how many of those bashers follow me today. How many of them come back at me with a level of understanding because I did not come at them with disrespect. So the biggest thing I can say to anyone who gets slammed is humble yourself and show respect even though you’re not being shown the same.
CO: What is your absolute favorite, and/or most essential, kitchen item?
JD: My knife. Without a sharp well-crafted knife life is hard in the kitchen. I recently got a custom set of knives from GameKnives and it has changed the game for me in the kitchen. (Check out GameKnives here.)
CO: If you could give one piece of advice someone cooking game for the first time what would it be?
JD: Don’t be scared. My grandpa used to tell me all the time “Show your food some love and it will love you back.” Don’t be afraid to mess up, out of failure comes greatness. I am constantly learning new ways to cook the same old venison steak. Just do it!
CO: Besides yourself, who or what are your favorite outdoor companies, brands, or personas?
JD: I really respect what Weston Supplies is doing right now. They have a passion for pushing this DIY hunt and eat movement that’s spreading right now. (Check out Weston Supply here.)
Havalon for creating a blade that cuts down on the field dressing time and helps create cleaner cuts. (Check out Havalon Knives here).
In clothing and packs you’ve got so many from Badlands, Kuiu, Stixs & Stones, Scopeshield I mean the list goes on and on.
I will say I really respect what Jim and Eva Shockey are putting out there also. They are killing it in all areas. (Connect with the Shockey’s on Facebook to follow along with them.)
CO: Whats up next for From Field to Plate? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am currently working on my 1st cookbook called “From Field To Plate” – go figure right. I’m hoping to have it finished by next year. I started a podcast called ‘Tasting Wild’ with 3 other home chefs where we discuss topics on hunting, butchering, cooking, and beyond. (Listen to the first two podcasts here.)
I hope in 10 years to be out in the field growing and learning so I can continue to teach and shape others. To see this wild game movement exploding, going beyond the stereotype of mindless killing machines and getting people excited to get their hands dirty for their dinner. Get people excited for the trophy on the plate, not just the wall.