© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hungry for 'braised urban squirrel'? A Lawrence, Kansas, cook-off will star wild foods

Gilbert Randolph says he hunts between 60 and 70 percent of the meat he consumes, including this roasted snipe.
Gilbert Randolph
Gilbert Randolph says he hunts between 60 and 70 percent of the meat he consumes, including this roasted snipe.

Ingredients from the Kansas outdoors — including wild game and foraged produce — will be featured in the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' first-ever Wild Foods Cook-Off. The event will take place Sunday, Nov. 19 at Baker University Wetlands Discovery Center in Lawrence.

Squirrel, elderberries and pawpaws aren't usually the stars of Kansas cuisine. But they — and other ingredients found in the Kansas outdoors — are taking center stage at Wild Foods Cook Off in Lawrence this weekend.

Amy Bousman, an education specialist at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and organizer of the event, said the idea came from a similar event focused on invasive species in Oregon.

"I thought, why aren't we doing this cook-off with wild foods?" she said. "There's so many hunters and anglers and foragers in our state, and also in Missouri, that aren't getting to feature their skills and show what what they're capable of."

Entries will fall into six categories: wild game, wild fish, wild plants, wild mushrooms, wild sweets and wild invasive/nuisance species. Spectators are welcome to try the dishes, and each will be judged by expert chefs and foragers, too.

Prizes for the top dish in each category, as well as the "community favorite," will be awarded.

  • Amy Bousman, Kansas City-area education specialist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
  • Gilbert Randolph, Wild Foods Cook Off participant
  • Jason Champagne, judge for the Wild Foods Cook Off and owner of The Native Chef LLC
Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an Up To Date producer, I aim to create a space for Kansas Citians to come together for curious and inspired conversations about the region we call home. I want to help find answers to big questions, shine a light on local change makers and break down complex issues people need to know about. Email me at hallejackson@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.