Game changer.

by Sam

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Thanks to a friend, I scored an invitation to last weekend’s 2nd Annual Bronx Pipe Smoking Society Small Game Dinner, held at the The Daugavas Vanagi House on 183rd Street in The Bronx. The event, the creation of one Baron Ambrosia, AKA Justin Fornal, the singular host of Bronx Flavor—an excellent long-running culinary show on BronxNet Community Television—and self-proclaimed “Quaffer of Culinary Consciousness,” was clandestine in feel, with candlelight illuminating dishes with such names as “Coyote Enchilado,” “Tree Rat en Croute” and “Pepe Meets Rocky Charcuterie.” Beaver tail dumplings, muskrat confit, possum pastilla, poached raccoon, fisher tacos, braised mink, squirrel pot pie, roasted fox … you name it, I tasted it (a tip for all would-be game meat chefs: slow roast). The meat was provided by Bill Guiles and Jim DeStefano, two New Jersey trappers, and distributed by Fornal to various friends and chefs to prepare in advance of the event, for which the guests, including none other than hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Mele Mell, were asked to dress formally or to “imagine all of the James Bond villains have gotten together for a diabolical dinner party.” I could go on, but I won’t. Needless to say, it was a strange and beautiful evening.
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