Georgia Pellegrini Interview
We sat down with author, chef, TV personality, and pioneer Georgia Pellegrini to talk about her upcoming Adventure Getaways. Here is the full exclusive interview with details on how to make a killing in the hunting world.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- I started off as a chef and then I became an author and these [Adventure Getaways] started in a very organic way. Women & men were reading my books and responding to the fact that I had really taken an untraditional path. I had left my corporate job on wall street and had decided to do things that made me happy, for me that was using my hands, practicing something I like to call “manual literacy.”
- I was really learning as a chef to get back to the source of my ingredients, so I was fishing and hunting and foraging and just living off the land more and as a chef I was working at farm to table restaurants. I used to chronicle these journeys in my books and a lot of people responded to that, I think, because we’re all deep down inside looking for ways to tap into things that are real and lasting and tangible and so a lot of people were looking for alternatives to their day jobs or looking for ways to at least balance their day jobs and so a lot of people asked if they could go on an adventure with me.
- People would share their stories with me whether they were going through cancer or overcoming some major life challenge or at a crossroads in their life. I had people were writing to me about their daughters and how I was able to help them breakthrough challenges or depression and so I wasn’t planning to host any group adventure, but I did it as an experiment about 10 years ago and it really has snowballed.
What has been your vision and progress with these Adventure Getaways?
- I did the first one [Adventure Getaway] and I had a long waiting list. I made the choice early on to really focus on women only, that’s because I think that there are a lot of outlets for men in the outdoors but there’s not a lot for women and typically it’s an environment where women are just tagging along.
- They are not going to a place that’s custom tailored to the way they experience the outdoors and I think that often times the outdoor industry misses the fact that women experience it very differently than men do and they don’t tailor the experiences to women whether it’s the clothing or the teaching approach or overall experience and environment.
- Women have a different way that they experience life in the outdoors and nature and I think that is often overlooked and so what I decided was that my contribution to the outdoor space was really going to be about women and I’ve maintained that focus for the past 10 years.
- It’s been really incredible because it’s this network of women now that have created life long friends all over the world. They come from as far as South Korea, it’s really special to see that they have reunions and they inspire each other. They have huge age ranges, a single trip has an age range anywhere from 22-75, and it’s pretty special to see women supporting each other and sharing cross generational experiences. I am just the facilitator, the vehicle by which everyone connects and meets and steps outside their comfort zone together.
- My philosophy is, “ We should do one thing every day that scares us.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Women don’t take the opportunity to do that. They often times put themselves into a box that’s smaller than they naturally occupy, because they are accommodating so many other people’s needs and my job is to help women make that box explode. Help them find ways to live more fearlessly, whether it’s in their everyday life or in a field in Texas learning to hunt and gut a wild boar.
What should someone expect from an Adventure Getaway?
- Everyone is different. Everyone is custom tailored, and often times people come back year after year, so everyone is bespoke as a result to these new experiences. The whole weekend is from a Thursday to a Sunday, and it includes a range of outdoor activities and what I call “field to stream to table” and there is also a hunting element.
- The next one is in January and we are going wild boar hunting and we are going to learn how to harvest and gut and clean and skin and make it into sausage and freeze it and take it home. I alway say there is the outdoor rugged element, but there is also creature comforts, at the end of the day, women love these great fabulous gift bags from these brands with great food and great wine and comfortable accommodations. There’s s’mores on the fire and lots of laughter. Fishing, ATV riding, archery, falconry, horseback riding, the idea is to learn new skills.
- One time we learned how to tie flies for fly fishing, I always teach a cooking class or pioneer skills class. The idea is to incorporate new skills and bring expertise to grow our understanding of the natural world around which I think so many of us have lost sight of.
What are women most surprised by when they attend these adventures?
- Most of them are surprised by just how good they are. I think women are their own worst critics, they oftentimes doubt themselves or they self edit and women are actually naturally very good shots because they are patient and meticulous.
- They don’t bring a lot of ego into the situation and so a lot of them are very surprised by how naturally good they are having never shot a gun before or never fished before or never having done any of these things before.
- So I think that they are very empowered by that initial high by trying something and not being afraid to fail, but also cheering each other on and supporting each other and really being delighted at how naturally good they are at it.
What has been your biggest acconplishment?
- I never really set out with some grandiose goal in my mind. A lot of what I’ve done has happened very organically and has been to a reaction or response to something else and so I think for me I’ve never really aspired to have a public platform. In my heart, I was just someone who loved using my hands and who loved being a chef and a writer and connecting with people in real life versus just on the internet. So, I think these adventure getaways were a way for people to connect with people in real life versus just have them read my book or websites or my social media.
- That’s really meaningful to me because I can look them in the eye and really be teaching them these things that they really wanted to learn and sort of thought about and saved up for. So I think that maybe one of my greatest accomplishments is just creating this inherent network of women that exists now, by shear fact that they all took a chance to come on this trip, oftentimes alone, and take a risk and meet new people and change their lives.
- A majority of them will tell you that it changed their lives and they’ve gone home and really made major life decisions as a result of coming on this trip and that’s sort of an unexpected byproduct as well, I wasn’t intentionally trying to do that it has a way of breaking people outside of their mold and having the TV show was a great opportunity to elevate the platform on a larger scale, so more and more people can be touched by my philosophy.
- So I don’t know, I don’t really view it so much as an accomplishment. More so micro-steps that happen day after day, not really any major or huge shift.
What’s your next step?
- I take it day by day. The next Adventure Getaway is in January. I’m excited for that. I always have different things in the works. We produce content everyday on my website which I love to do, because I think that’s the best way to immediately add value to people’s lives. We spun-off an adventure getaways website from my actual georgiapellegrini.com website as a way to give the adventure getaways to get a life of their own. So I think we will continue to grow that. There are some ideas for spinoffs for the adventure getaways, but they are still a work in progress, so I will have to keep you updated.
What has been your biggest kill?
- I’m not typically a trophy hunter or a big game hunter, for me it’s all about food and I see everything through the lens of food so I think the largest one has been a deer. A wild boar and deer are some of my favorite meat. I do a lot of birds, as in quail.
Did you grow up hunting/fishing?
- I grew up in upstate New York, my family has lived there for 100 years on the same land. I was fortunate to grow up with parents and grandparents and even great grandparents who really loved living off the land and making the most from what their own two hands could produce.
- And so I think I inherently was influenced by the ideas of appreciating and knowing the land around me. I did not grow up hunting but I did grow up fishing. I would fish with my dad for breakfast, and have my trout in the morning. My great aunt was amazing at knowing every plant around her and its names and its uses. So I had that sort of real spirit in my family. But I didn’t decide to learn to hunt until I became a chef.
- It was working at farm to table restaurants when I realized that I wanted to pay the full karmic price of the meal and really take it from field to stream to table. That was the beginning of my journey learning to hunt my own food. That’s why I say I see it always through the lens of food. When I see a wild boar, I see running sausages. I always say, it’s the hunt itself, the pursuit and having to work hard for your food that matters.
What advice would you give to women who are looking to get started on these type of adventures?
- Well, come on on one of my adventure getaways. I think you really have to get outside and you have to find your own path that feels right for you, that doesn’t feel like it’s just following your husband or your dad or a male family member. I think you have to find a community that speaks to you and your passions and interests.
- I always say women should be able to experience the outdoors without feeling like they have to dress like a guy or act like a guy. There should be a way and a path that feels feminine and strong so women have to work a little harder to find that and I would just encourage them to find like minded women who share the same interest. We actually just started a private facebook group off of my facebook page that’s just for women and women can join the group and connect with like-minded women.