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Dirty Gourmet


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The inspiration for Dirty Gourmet came out of Aimee and Mai-Yan's four-month bike tour across North America several years ago. It was a completely self-sustained trip with the majority of their days ending at a campsite. This made for a lot of camp meals and experimentation with food in the outdoors. When they came back, their friend Emily was just ending three years of living in the mountains and working as an outdoor science teacher. With all three women facing a crossroads, they decided to combine their love of wilderness and shared knowledge about the importance of a good meal in the backcountry and create an outdoor food blog. On New Year's Eve of 2009 at Leo Carillo State Park, at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California, they acquired three campsites, rolled in with a teardrop trailer, and set up a camping party to host and feed their 20 closest friends and family. With delicious food, great company, and a clear starry night (after two rainy plan-and-prep days), Dirty Gourmet was born. Dirty Gourmet has grown organically since Aimee, Mai-Yan, and Emily started six years ago, allowing them to connect with people in the outdoors in many different ways. They have volunteered at trail cleanups, given lectures for the Sierra Club and REI, contributed to Backpacker Magazine, and even dabbled in food production. More recently they've focused their efforts on catering and teaching outdoor cooking workshops. Participating in such events has allowed the Dirty Gourmet gals to interact directly with their audience, giving them the opportunity to learn as much as they teach. Through these experiences, they've gained a better view of the challenges others have with cooking in the wild. Dirty Gourmet's priority is to get more people to eat well outdoors, and they've found that working face-to-face with their fans and followers is the best and most authentic way to do so. About Dirty Gourmet http: // @dirtygourmet Emily Nielson's first real experience in the outdoor industry was an Outward Bound trip in North Carolina when she was 15. Though she had often been camping with her family, this trip revealed to her that she could make a living in the outdoors--and that those who do so have a significant impact on the people they bring outside with them. Through the outdoors, Emily gained a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance that she feels she could not have acquired any other way. After graduating from Florida State University, where she studied Conservation Biology and Philosophy, Emily moved to California to teach at an outdoor science school, and she has remained in the outdoor industry ever since. She is currently a Sales Manager for REI in the Southern California region. She loves to rock climb, backpack, trail run, ski, and mountain bike regularly, and she is always looking for tricks to make cooking for these activities quick and easy, without having to resort to pre-packaged dreck! - Hometown: Upland, CA - Quote: "The wilderness is my comfort zone, and I want to share that feeling with everyone." Aimee Trudeau started cooking when she was a young teenager, reading her mom's Bon Appetit magazines after school and then cooking elaborate meals for dinner while her folks were still at work. Her family went camping nearly every weekend when she was growing up, and some of her earliest outdoor memories also involve food--watching coffee percolate on a camp stove, preparing simple but delicious camp meals. Her obsession with food continued into college where she studied Food Science, and once she started camping as an adult, she began to experiment with more interesting food options. Four months of bike touring took Aimee's cooking to the next level, and made her realize how different her camp food was compared to other campers she met. Today, she loves experimenting with interesting forms of cooking such as dehydrating, baking, and fermenting. - Hometown: Valencia, CA - Quote: "I follow a plant-based diet, which brings it's own challenges, especially when trying to please my finicky four-year-old twins." Mai-Yan Katherine Kwan grew up in Quebec City, Canada, the product of Chinese and French Canadian parents. Both cultures are very food-centric, which helped develop her palate early on (for her 8th birthday party she requested foie gras and ice cream cake). Her first experiences outdoors were at her grandparents' house in the Quebec countryside; the nearby forest and river became her personal sanctuary fostering a great sense of play and adventure. When Mai-Yan moved to California to attend art school, the freshness and year-round availability of produce expanded her cooking arena, and her thinking about food turned more serious. She became obsessed with documenting family recipes, and even designed a cookbook of traditional Chinese recipes after weeks of shadowing her grandma and dad while they cooked. At the same time, she rediscovered camping and cycling, and slowly became a rock climber and hiker. A graphic designer, Mai-Yan also teaches at Art Center College of Design and travels as much as possible. Recent adventures include snorkeling in the Galapagos and sleeping in the Amazonian treetops of Brazil. - Hometown: Los Angeles, CA - Quote: "I'm very detail oriented, which is ideal for my graphic design career, and for a perfectly chopped salad."


Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures is for foodies who want to make great food a part of the outdoors adventure.... [F]resh ingredients are emphasized, an international culinary approach is presented, and meals from appetizers and snacks to dinners and drinks include options for vegans and vegetarians as well as meat-eaters. The result is a fine gathering of extraordinary cookout options that any level of cook can easily achieve.--James A. Cox "Midwest Book Review "
An excellent cookbook, with a huge range of flavors. You'll find recipes like shiitake rice balls, Dutch oven sticky buns, lentil farro salad, hot chocolate oatmeal, buffalo cauliflower wraps and pecan praline fondue. Perusing this book is sure to give you ideas for your next trip--and make you hungry.--Jessi Loerch "Washington Trails Magazine "

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